Feb 262010

After doing a few pulls on the Dreamwalker encounter last night, I was intrigued enough by the encounter to write up some tips…and yes, my “tips” always turn into walls o’ text. (Don’t tell my RL, but I did some feral healing and snuck into a portal on a pull last night to check out the dreamworld.)


10M: 2 portal/Val healers, 1/2 tank/raid healers, 1/2 tanks, rest DPS. (10M is very flexible, composition wise.)

25M: 4 portal/Val healers, 3 raid healers, 2 tanks, rest DPS. Assign one ranged DPS per side as zombie kiters. Assign one melee per side as archmage interrupter. Rest follow DPS order (below).

Portal healers should be people who are comfortable moving in 3D space. Remember Malygos/Oculus? If you HATED the flying parts there, you may not be the best choice for portal healing. Otherwise, the priority is roughly shaman>druid>paladin>hpriest>dpriest. (Shammies can probably pump out the most HPS (or close to it) due to AA and don’t raid heal overly well here. Druids’ HPS is lower than shaman or paladin, but their extra mobility is quite helpful to get to portals. Paladins work well either in-portal or out, and are probably the best overall healer to have for this fight, due to Beacon (they can dump quite a good bit of healing on Val even unbuffed).  Holy Priests are at a HPS disadvantage, though they have a key role in this fight with glyphed Guardian Spirit. Disc priests are advised to switch to Holy for this one. :))


Dreamwalker starts at 50% health and must be healed to full. (12M health in 10M, 36M in 25M, of which you’re healing half.) The healers assigned to this will be alternately healing her and going through portals she spawns to collect a stacking buff which increases their healing done and mana regen. The remainder of the raid will be defending her against a flow of adds that gradually increases in speed, with two tank/dps teams on either side.

Strategy, by role

Tank(s): Tank the Abominations facing away from the raid as much as possible to reduce Gut Spray damage on other raid members. Watch for Abom’s to die and be prepared to pick up the  Be prepared to pick up and get threat on Archmages quickly, as they’ll be a kill priority for melee.

Melee DPS: Priority is Blazing Skeletons/Suppressors/Archmages/Abominations. One melee DPS per side should be assigned to keep Archmages as highest priority to interrupt their Frostbolt Volley (make sure you let the tanks pick up threat first though). Watch Abomination facing to keep out of Gut Spray, and watch for the Archmage’s frost columns. You can help DPS zombies if the kiter has a comfortable threat lead (I frequently dropped a Rake on one while heading to something else), just stay away from them if they’re at low HP; they go boom. Kitties: Don’t use a normal DPS rotation, except for the Aboms, as most stuff is going to die too fast for Rip to be viable. Rake/SR/Mangle/Shred to 5 CP’s/Bite.

Ranged DPS: Priority is Blazing Skeletons (on either side)/Suppressors/Zombies/Abominations/Archmages. Position yourself near the middle and feel free to help on targets on the other side.  One ranged kiter per side (generally a Hunter) should kite the Zombies; try not to drag them through the tanks/melee, especially at low HP. (They go boom.) On 10M, it’s a good strategy to have one DPS enter portals to get the stacking buff, preferably an Arcane mage (good burst dps) or Elemental shammy (can do some off-healing)

Raid Healers: Same as normal, though you’ll be healing the tank more than you’re used to. You’ll probably have some mana issues, so ask for Innervates/Mana Tides early; the Valithria healers won’t need them. Almost all of the (non-tank) damage is avoidable until the late phases, so if people are dying early, that’s their fault. If you have spare GCD’s, heal Valithria.

Valithria Healers: Ah, the key to this fight. Here’s how it works. Starting 30s in and every 45s thereafter, Valithria will spawn 6 portals (3 in 10M). These portals will drop you into the “Emerald Dream” for 20s, where lots of green balls will be floating around. Every green ball that’s touched by a player will pop, giving everyone within 10yards a 10% buff to healing and damage done and some MP5. This buff lasts 35s, and stacks (to 100, though you won’t get that far). After leaving the Dream, you’ll have 25s to heal Val before the portals reopen and you start over. Here’s the breakdown (I find timelines helpful):

0:30- First portals spawn.
0:50- Out of dream world. (no, you can’t click off the buff to leave early). Hopefully, you’ll have popped a ball right before you exit. Run to where the portals spawn and start healing Val. An orb will appear a few seconds before the portal opens, so go stand on one to mark it as yours.
1:15- Next portals spawn. If you popped a ball right before you left, you’ll have 10s to quickly find another ball to refresh your stacks (though it’ll probably be closer to 5s).
1:35- Out of dream world.
2:00- Next portals spawn.
~7:00- Adds come too quickly; raidwipe.

There’s two strategies for grabbing balls that have been used successfully. The first and most common assigns each healer an area. This is a less risky strategy, but requires that each healer possess good 3D movement and awareness. The second has the healers group (after they grab one ball individually to refresh their stack) and all follow one person, sharing in the 10y splash. Each strategy is viable, so pick whichever best fits your raid. The most important thing, however, is not getting greedy; watch your debuff timer carefully and make sure you grab a ball right before your debuff wears off, to give yourself maximum time during the next portal phase.

Once you exit the realm, you’ll be dropped back into the raid. Immediately run back to your portal spot while popping any instants you have, then push max HPS into Valithria. Hopefully, one of your holy priests has glyphed Guardian Spirit (10s of +40% healing every minute is AWESOME) and will have that up on the pull and every other portal phase. (Sadly, she has a hidden debuff that prevents chaining GS with multiple priests. One per minute is all you get.) Paladins should beacon Val and HL bomb someone in the raid, probably a tank. Shamans will RT and HW spam on Val; Druids will slow-stack LB, roll RG/RJ, pop SM on CD, and spam Nourish. DON”T WORRY ABOUT THE RAID (though a couple instants as you’re moving into position is fine). Your priority is getting into portals quickly to refresh your buff, proper timing in the portal to give yourself max time in the next, and healing Val as much as you can. In that order. You’ll get about 9-10 portals before the enrage; after the 7th portal phase or so (6m in), pop Hero, pop Guardian Spirit, pop all healer cooldowns, have all hybrids heal as well, and get her the rest of the way. Prot pally LoH is great. :)

Random Tips (that I haven’t confirmed)

– Fire and Frost Res auras are great, but I’m not sure if raiders retain the benefit if the providing paladin is in the Dream.

– Totems despawn when a shammy enters the Dream (so drop that Mana Tide when you come OUT).

– Supposedly you’re both “mounted” and “swimming” in the dream realm, so swim speed or mount speed buffs might help.

– Amplify Magic on Val is probably a good idea.

– Mark the portal healers so they don’t try to take the same portals.

Jan 032010


To start out our gearing guide, we’ll look at the things that won’t change much: your glyphs, professions, and enchants. I’ll then take a quick general look at gems and consumables, and finish with a look at the raid buffs that best benefit feral DPS’ers.

Note: For each item, I’m including an approximate dps value for a T9 feral in a well-balanced 25-man raid. Take the numbers with several grains of salt, as everything scales off each other. Really, it’s better to look at the ratios. I’m specifically not giving numbers for buffs for that reason.

EDIT: Doh, hit publish before adding links. Wowhead links up now.


  • Glyph of Savage Roar (~190 dps) – Recommended. An extra 3% damage is hard to beat.
  • Glyph of Rip (~133 dps) – Recommended. It’s not sexy like the Shred glyph, but an extra 4 seconds on Rip is always good.
  • Glyph of Shred (~225 dps) – Recommended. 2 extra seconds on Rip for each Shred, up to 3? Yes please.
  • Glyph of Berserk (~84 dps) – Situational. An extra 5 seconds of Berserk is basically 50 more energy every 3 minutes. On a static fight, the other glyphs are better, but if you’re moving/target switching a lot and can’t get 2-3 shreds in consistently to maximize your Shred Glyph, consider this.
  • Glyph of Mangle (~25 dps) – Not recommended. Even in the worst-case situation (mangle duty, not talented into Imp. Mangle) this is worse than the other options.


Your professions can give your DPS a good boost. As always, the overall “best” choice is BS/JC (extra sockets and better gems gives much more flexibility for gemming), but don’t feel constrained by that, as the differences are rather small.

  • Jewelcrafting: 3 +34 agi/ArPen gems, which replace 3 +20 gems (~58 dps)
  • Blacksmithing: 2 extra sockets (+40 Agi/ArPen) (~56 dps)
  • Engineering: +340 haste/12s once per minute on gloves, normalizes to +68 haste, which replaces +44AP glove enchant (~56 dps)
  • Alchemy: +80AP Mixology bonus on Flask of Endless Rage (~50 dps)
  • Enchanting: +40AP enchant on rings (~50 dps)
  • Inscription: +80AP shoulder enchant bonus (~50 dps)
  • Leatherworking: +80AP bracer enchant bonus (~50 dps)
  • Tailoring: +400 AP proc with roughly 30% uptime; normalizes to +120AP, which replaces +22 agi cloak enchant (~45 dps)
  • Skinning: +40 crit bonus (~40 dps)
  • Herbalism: Small self-heal (0 dps)
  • Mining: +60 Stamina (0 dps)


Head: Arcanum of Torment (~50 dps)
Notes: If your rep isn’t high enough for the top-end enchant, the old BC rep chant or the PVP chant are mediocre replacements. (For the cost, though, you might as well just wait until you rep up, shouldn’t take long. )

Shoulders: Greater Inscription of the Axe (~40 dps)
Alternatives: Master’s Inscription of the Axe (scribes, ~90 dps), Lesser Inscription of the Axe (~30 dps)
Notes: Get the best Sons of Hodir chant you can, or train inscription and skip it entirely. (Remember they’re BtA now so only one toon needs to Hodir repgrind)

Back: Major Agility (~32 dps) or Greater Speed (~30 dps)
Alternatives: Swordguard Embroidery (tailors, ~85 dps), Flexweave Underlay (engineers, ~33 dps)
Notes: Both are pretty close; Major Agility is slightly better, but may be worse if you’re over white crit cap. Swordguard is much better than either if you’re a tailor.

Chest: Powerful Stats (~25 dps)
Alternatives: Super Stats (~20 dps)
Notes: Get the best you can afford.

Wrist: Greater Assault (~30 dps)
Alternatives: Fur Lining – Attack Power (leatherworkers, ~80 dps)
Notes: The expertise enchant is not competitive.

Hands: Crusher (~27 dps) or Major Agility (~26 dps)
Alternatives: Hyperspeed Accelerators (engineers, ~83 dps)
Notes: Crusher for pure DPS pieces, Major agi for shared pieces.

Legs: Icescale Leg Armor or LW equiv (~68 dps)
Alternatives: Nerubian Leg Armor or LW equiv (~49 dps)
Notes: Get the best you can afford.

Feet: Icewalker (~27 dps) or Superior Agility (~22 dps) or Greater Assault (~20 dps)
Alternatives: Nitro Boosts (engineers, ~24 dps)
Notes: Icewalker is superior if you need the +hit; if not, get one of the other two. Nitros are pretty close if you’re an engineer and want an extra Dash.

Rings: Assault (enchanters, ~25dps*2)
Alternatives: none
Notes: No-brainer here. If you can enchant your rings, do it.

Weapon: Berserking (~85 dps) or Massacre (~85 dps)
Alternatives: Mongoose (~75 dps), Greater Savagery (~65 dps), Executioner (~60 dps)
Notes: Mongoose is an excellent choice for a weapon that is shared between cat and bear sets. Some people prefer Massacre’s permanent buff (+110 AP) to Berserking’s proc (+400 AP, generally 25-30% uptime)…they’re very close, so take your pick. I prefer Berserking of the two since it goes very well with a speed pot…that said, I stick with Mongoose. If you’re close to the ArPen hardcap, Executioner’s ArPen proc may be superior, but I wouldn’t generally recommend it. (Oh, and get Greater Savagery if you’re cheap.)


Gemming is where things get seriously complex, due to the multiple cap problem discussed above. Because of this, I’ll just discuss gemming in general here, and then talk more about proper gemming when I look at each gearset in later sections. I’m not specifically mentioning Dragon’s Eye varieties; substitute those if you’re a Jewelcrafter. (Note: If you’re still gearing up, feel free to substitute the blue or green variety of the gem listed. Bad players blow all their cash on epic gems/top-end chants in ilvl 187/ 200 gear, or worse, don’t gem/chant it at all. Good players realize that in comparison to a 200g epic gem, a 5g green gem has 60% of the stats and a 20g blue gem has 80%.)

Meta: Relentless Earthsiege Diamond (~230 dps)
Alternatives: Chaotic Skyflare Diamond (~220 dps)
Notes: A CSD may seem better if crit > agi for you, but realize that you have to socket 2 blues/purples to activate it, which results in less optimal gemming overall.

Red: Delicate Cardinal Ruby (~28 dps)
Alternatives: Fractured Cardinal Ruby (~28 dps), Bold Cardinal Ruby (~28 dps)
Notes: Red gems are the best overall gems. Delicate (agi) gems are the best default choice, but once you go over white crit cap or come close to capping ArPen, Fractured (ArPen) is superior. If you have capped both agi and ArPen, Bold (str, which doesn’t cap) is the fallback. (Yes, at this gear level, individual gems are within rounding distance of each other.)

Yellow: Deadly Ametrine (~26 dps)
Alternatives: Agility combos (Deft Ametrine, Glinting Ametrine), Strength combos (Inscribed Ametrine, Fierce Ametrine, Etched Ametrine) (all around ~26 dps), Hit/Exp (Accurate Ametrine) (~24 dps)
Notes: Generally, yellow sockets should be matched with yellow gems to get socket bonuses, unless the socket bonus is worthless or the item has a blue slot also which you’re not matching. If agi is better than str for you, grab a 10 agi/10 X gem, with X being whichever substat benefits you best…if str is better, do likewise with a 10 str/10 X. I’ve included the 10 hit/10 exp gem as a possibility; it’s not competiti may come out very well when I model full T10 gear.

Blue: Nightmare Tear (unique, ~28 dps)
Alternatives: Shifting Dreadstone (~14 dps)
Notes: Unlike yellow gems, blue gems are pretty bad, DPS-wise. You should fill one blue socket with a Nightmare Tear, which is good, and shared bear pieces can take an agi/stam gem, but normally you’ll just slot in whichever red is best for you and forego the socket bonus.


Nom nom nom.

Food: Blackened Dragonfin (agi, ~65 dps)
Alternatives: Hearty Rhino (ArPen, ~65 dps), Dragonfin Filet (str, ~65 dps), Fish Feast (AP, ~55 dps)
Notes: Pretty simple: eat for whatever your best stat is. Fish Feasts are slightly suboptimal, but they’re much better than nothing.

Flasks/Elixirs: Flask of Endless Rage (~115 dps)
Alternatives: Guru’s Elixir (~60 dps)
Notes: The flask is really your only good option, as the other elixirs don’t even come close. Guru’s Elixirs are dirt cheap though, so feel free to use them for content that doesn’t merit a 40g flask.

Scrolls: Scroll of Agility VIII (~45 dps) or Scroll of Strength VIII (~45 dps)
Notes: People usually overlook scrolls, but if you’re in a group that doesn’t have a DK/Shaman (for Horn of Winter/Strength of Earth totem), these scrolls can give you a bit of a buff.

Potions: Potion of Speed (~600 dps while active, so about ~30 dps for a 5 minute fight)
Notes: Try to stack with any +AP/+Crit procs, if you can. If you have good coordination with your tank, you can pop one right before the pull, get a few seconds of buff out of it, and still be able to pop a full one 2m in. Not super useful, but helpful.

Raid Buffs

While you don’t really have any control over this, here’s a list of the (major) raid buffs/debuffs which will increase your DPS, with a note over who brings what and a rough estimate of how big a buff it is. I’ve included our own buffs for comparison. TLDR version: bribe your RL to bring an enhancement shaman and a ret pally.

  • Improved Icy Talons/Improved Windfury Totem (+20% haste, frost DK or enhancement shaman; any shaman can drop regular WF totem for a 16% buff): +6% DPS, +5% unimproved
  • Abomination’s Might/Trueshot Aura/Unleashed Rage (+10% AP, blood DK/marks hunter/enhancement shaman): +6% DPS
  • Horn of Winter/Strength of Earth Totem (+155 str/agi, any DK/shaman, enhancement shamans can talent for an additional +23): +5% DPS, +6% improved
  • Sunder Armor/Expose Armor/Acid Spit (20% enemy armor reduction, any warrior/rogue/certain hunter pet): +5% DPS
  • Blessing of Might/Battle Shout (+550 AP, any warrior/paladin, ret paladins/DPS warriors can talent for an additional +137): +4% DPS, +5% improved
  • Blood Frenzy/Savage Combat (+4% physical damage taken, arms warrior/combat rogue): +4% DPS
  • Blessing of Kings (+10% base stats, any paladin, +8% version available to all classes via item): +4% DPS, +3% unimproved
  • Leader of the Pack/Rampage (+5% melee crit, feral druid/fury warrior): +4% DPS
  • Arcane Empowerment/Ferocious Inspiration/Sanctified Retribution (+3% damage, arcane mage/BM hunter/ret paladin): +3% DPS
  • Heart of the Crusader/Master Poisoner/Totem of Wrath (+3% crit, ret paladin/mutilate rogue/elemental shaman): +2% DPS
  • Mark of the Wild (+51 all stats, armor/resistances, any druid, +37 version available to all classes via item): +2% DPS
  • Mangle/Trauma (+30% bleed damage, feral druid/arms warrior): +1% DPS (Note: this refers to someone else putting up the debuff, meaning you can drop Mangle from your rotation. No bleed debuff will drop your DPS by about 10% or so.)
  • Imp. Moonkin Form/Swift Retribution (+3% haste, balance druid/ret pally): +1% DPS

Well, that’s it for this wall o’ text. In part 2, I’ll put out a gear list for a T9 geared druid (badges/new heroics) and look at his stat values, to see how the gemming shakes out. Later!

Jan 032010

Welcome to the 3.3 Cat Gearing guide! Icecrown is upon us, and it’s time to shred Arthas and his minions, piece by piece. (Since they’re undead, after all. Quick thought: exactly how do my bleed attacks hurt them, anyway? Thankfully, there’s some backup firepower.)

Ferals are in a very interesting place right now, theorywise; our stats have risen to the point where we are bumping into multiple caps, and proper gemming seems to change on a daily basis. (This is due to the fact that gear ilevel is higher than the devs expected pre-Wrath, because of hardmodes.) This is not an exclusively feral problem, by any means, but it does make optimization very difficult. While there have been many things written about gearing options, most haven’t taken enough variables into account. Proper suggestions for a HM raider, vs a new raider, are very different; however, too many people have attempted to synthesize gear decisions into an overly simplistic decision matrix that may or may not be applicable.  

So, for my gear advice, I’ll actually build three “BIS lists,” and provide advice for each:

  • The 5-man/alt “casual player.” This player doesn’t raid frequently or on a high level, but is interested in good performance. Gear focused around non-raiding pieces (ilvl 232/badge 245).
  • The progression raider. This player wants to maximize his DPS to complete the story and finish off LK. Gear focused around normal-mode 25-man raiding (ilvl 264). (If there’s interest, I may work one up for 10m strict raiders.)
  • The hardmode raider. This player will pull out all the stops to boost their dps…or they’re going to be benched for someone else. No gear limits.

Before getting to those sets, though, I’ll start with some discussion on the things that won’t change (much), like enchants, metagems, buffs, etc. I’ll eventually roll all of this into the overall cat guide that I”m putting together. Anyway, on to Part 1! As always, leave me comments and I’ll fix anything that’s wrong. :)

Dec 162009


The Frozen Halls is the complex of the three new 5-man instances added in Patch 3.3, of which Halls of Reflection is the third and most difficult. To get there, start facing the door of Icecrown Citadel, and fly right and up–you should see a ledge with banners hanging from it. On that ledge is a tunnel which leads into the room with the three entrance doors. (Note: I HIGHLY recommend you go find this for yourself the first time, before taking advantage of the LFG system’s Teleport to Dungeon. You don’t want to be the guy/girl holding up the group after a wipe because you can’t find your way back.)

Note: I am incredibly indebted to Kelriia’s(the_ivorytower) guide on LJ (has spoilers). Lots of good stuff there too.


  • This instance is hard. It’s certainly tuned to a higher level than any other 5-man. If you’re still gearing up your toon, I’d run everything else a few times before trying this on Heroic. This includes DPS, as the whole encounter is timed.
  • For the second gauntlet, tanking mobs farther away from the wall gives you more DPS time (since they won’t run as far) but may require more movement. If you’re going for the achievement, it’s definitely helpful.
  • Don’t try to attack the final boss. :)
  • Those CC skills/ranged interrupts you’ve never used/haven’t used since BC? Put em on your bars. This depends on your group and strat, but here’s some abilities for each class that can be used proactively:
    • Priests: Shackle
    • Pallies: HOLY WRATH (not a long cc, but awesome), Turn Undead, Repentance
    • Hunters: Freezing Arrow, Silencing Shot, pet tanking
    • Rogues: Dismantle, Sap(maybe)
    • Warriors: Heroic Throw
    • DK’s: Grip/COI, depending on strat; Strangulate
    • Druids: Root, Cyclone
    • Mages: Counterspell
    • Shamans: Wind Shear, Hex(maybe)
    • Locks: Felhunter Spell Lock, pet tanking

The First Gauntlet:

The first part of HoR occurs all in one circular room, with small sections cut out of each side.  There will be multiple waves of spawning mobs and bosses, similar to Violet Hold. There are 10 waves total, with Falric appearing on wave 5 and Marwyn on wave 10. Each trash wave consists of 3-5 mobs, which spawn in at random points around the room (starts with 3, and gradually increases). The mobs are randomly selected, so you’ll frequently have multiples of the same kind.  You only have a few seconds to drink between trash waves (like 5 or so), and another wave will spawn if you’re not killing the first group fast enough, so DPS can’t slack. You do get a small breather after Falric, before the waves spawn again. 

Mobs and abilities (in recommended kill or cc order):

  • Ghostly Priest: Melee healer/caster. Casts Dark Mending, a 50kish heal; also casts a low-damage curse DoT, an AOE knockback, and occasionally fears people (dispellable). These guys go down fast, but their fear sucks when it’s your healer/dispeller, and if they’re left for later, they’ll heal another target up. Kill first. Hard to keep CC’ed, since they run into melee range.
  • Phantom Mage: Ranged caster. Worst spell is Flamestrike, an area AOE that hits for 5k and does 1k DPS for 8 sec to anyone standing in it. (Flamestrike’s AOE effect isn’t very noticeable, especially under the hunter’s frost trap.) This spell is what frequently wipes groups, especially ones using the LOS strategy (see below) if people are too bunched up. He also casts Fireball/Frostbolt/Chains of Ice…none of which are too bad on their own, unless the target has been cursed by the hunter. At 50% HP, he’ll blink away and create a Phantom Hallucination where he was standing; the hallucination has the same abilities as the mage (but starts at 50% HP) so finish off the mage, then kill the hallucination. The hallucination explodes for a LOT (10k) of damage when it dies, so if you’re tanking or dps’ing it, back off when it’s close to dead and let the ranged DPS  finish it.  CC first; kill after priests.
  • Shadowy Mercenary: Melee rogue. They throw around some weak poison (heal through it), occasionally stun the tank for 3s, and randomly shadowstep to a party member, hit them hard (8k or so) and come running back. Not a big threat, except for the shadowstep, which can finish off someone low from a Flamestrike. If the tank keeps his distance from the rest of the party, he’ll spend a lot of time running back and forth, and not be a large factor. 
  • Spectral Footman: Melee fighter. These hit VERY hard…they have an attack that ignores armor, and can enrage to attack twice as fast for 8s. They also Shield Bash, which works as a cone attack and locks out spells for 4s. Let the tank handle these…stay away if you are a DPS’er/caster.  Note: If you have more than one, be prepared to use cooldowns (tank/healer). Rootable. Protip for feral tanks (that I just thought of…grr why didn’t I think of this the other day when I was tanking it): Nature’s Grasp is usable in bear form, so if you can position yourself to where a melee hits you first (preferably a footman), you can auto-root it and move away.
  • Tortured Rifleman: Ranged hunter. Not a large threat; doesn’t hit hard. Can frost trap his target, but the trap only lasts 2s, so not a big deal. He does throw a curse that increases magic damage taken by 50%, which should be removed if possible.  CC second, if available.

Trash Strategy:

While waiting for the event to start, gather your party into one of the nooks on the left and right hand side. The healer and DPS should stay off to the side, out of LOS of the spawning mobs; the tank waits in the nook entryway. Once the mobs spawn, the tank picks up aggro on melee mobs with his AOE ability, and initial aggro on ranged mobs with a ranged attack of some kind.   How you handle the ranged from that point depends on your composition. If you have a priest/hunter/pally, they can (and should) keep a ranged mob cc’ed. (Boomkin can cyclone, but that only lasts 6s, so that’s tough to keep up… a hunter/lock can sic their pet on them, but it won’t last very long.) If you decide to bring the ranged in and just tank them all, that’s doable with a well-geared tank and healer. You can use a ranged interrupt to bring the mage in, but the hunter is a bit harder (Dismantle works). Best is to just let them aggro on the healer, have the healer LOS them so they run in, and have the tank pick them up. Note to pally/DK tanks: Don’t expect your consecrate/D&D to pick up aggro for you. I’ve healed HoR a few times, and been one/two-shot by mobs that ran straight through and only got a single tick.


He”s mostly a tank-and-spank, with two major abilities. The first is Hopelessness, which reduces your damage and healing done by 25%. This stacks 3x, and is applied at 75%, 50%, and 25% HP. The DPS reduction isn’t a big deal, but the healing reduction is bad in combination with the second ability, Defiling Horror. This is an AOE horror (not fear, fear breaks don’t work) that does 16k damage over 4 seconds to the whole party. Your healer will find it difficult to keep the tank and party healed with 3 stacks of Hopelessness. Not a lot of strategy involved, except on the healer’s part. (You may have to let a DPS die.) Falric also throws around a magic debuff that stuns for 6s after 6s…dispel this if you can. (Druids, Tranquility was MADE for this fight.)


Not a big challenge. He can hit a tank pretty hard, throw a nasty DoT on a party member (which if dispelled, spreads out the remainder of the damage over the whole raid) and cast void zones. Drop him and keep moving.

The Second Gauntlet:

After some nifty moments (which I won’t spoil if you haven’t seen them), you start the second gauntlet, which has the party running down a path which is periodically blocked by summoned walls (four). In order to break them, the party has to kill waves of adds running in. (There’s one wave per wall, with two on the final wall). There are two types of adds you have to worry about…Abominations, which cleave and have a vomit attack, and Witch Doctors, which have an AOE shadowbolt attack. Generally, I recommend AOE to maximize DPS; however, classes with ranged interrupts will need to use them to get the Witch Doctors in the kill zone. (You have to kill the adds in a certain time.)

Finish, get your loot, and relax, knowing you’ve beaten this awesome instance. Then start getting ready for ICC10. :) 


Dec 142009


The Frozen Halls is the complex of the three new 5-man instances added in Patch 3.3, of which Pit of Saron is the second, of moderate difficulty. To get there, start facing the door of Icecrown Citadel, and fly right and up–you should see a ledge with banners hand from it. On that ledge is a tunnel which leads into the room with the three entrance doors. (Note: I HIGHLY recommend you go find this for yourself the first time, before taking advantage of the LFG system’s Teleport to Dungeon. You don’t want to be the guy/girl holding up the group after a wipe because you can’t find your way back.)


  • Frost resistance is handy for an undergeared group on Garfrost and Tyrannus.
  • Nature resistance is handy on K&I.
  • If you REALLY want your Quel’Dalar, you can farm the Skeletal Slaves in here solo. CC the Necrolyte, kill/loot the slaves, and drop aggro (run out, shadowmeld, feign death, whatever). There’s 5 nec/slave groups running around, so you can clear all five, duck out, and reset the instance to reset the trash. The item to start the quest chain has about a 0.1% droprate, though (estimated), so good luck with that.

Notable Trash:

All the beginning trash is AOE’able, and notable only for having high HP.  You can go left or right around the middle crevasse, but every group I’ve been in has gone right. (Which gives you more than enough slaves to finish the quest, if needed.)  There’s a small ambush around the back of the crevasse, after Garfrost. Just hang back a bit, let the slaves get nailed, then pull as normal.

The trash packs going up the hill after Krick are easily the hardest of the instance. First, you’ll have to deal with two five-pulls, with three casters (Flamebearer/Wrathbringer) and two melee. The Flamebearers are the nasty ones, since they’ll Blink to a random target in your group and start casting Hellfire…which sucks, seeing how constricted the path up is. If you can, I’d recommend cc’ing the back Flamebearer. The two six-pulls after those are easier; the damage on the tank will be heavier, but there will be much less party damage to occupy the healer. Again, if you can cc one of the frost mages in the back, it’s helpful.  (Don’t stand in the circle, even if it is pretty.)

The tunnel gauntlet with falling ice isn’t hard..have the tank run to the middle, grabbing every add he passes, and AOE them down with the revenant. Heal/regen mana in the center (safe from ice spot) and run to the end, repeat.


Forgemaster Garfrost
As soon as one add or the boss is aggroed, all six adds and the boss will aggro on the offender. Let the tank get a bit of AOE threat, AOE the adds down, then focus on Garfrost.  He has a stacking aura (Permafrost) that does cold damage, and throws boulders at random raid members…so get behind the boulders for 3 sec to get rid of the buff. It is dispellable, however, so most groups won’t have to worry about it.  At 66% and 33% HP, he’ll stun everyone and jump to an an anvil to get a new weapon, doubling (and redoubling) his cold damage.  PS: Boulder Time. He adds a cone attack in P2, and a slow/DoT in P3, which aren’t much to worry about.  Just watch your debuff if you have no dispeller–a full 30x stack of Permafrost will do 9600 damage (before resi) every two seconds in p3.

Krick and Ick
Clear out all the trash around K&I before you start. They just require some awareness; they’re not too difficult. (Krick rides on top of Ick, and is untargetable.) Krick will generally throw around lots of green stuff (get out), but he’ll also cast a poison nova (run away), order Ick to pursue one of the non-tanks (run away) or throw out lots of mines (run away…dodge mines). Feel free to pull them out of the initial area if you want more room to run.

Scourgelord Tyrannus
Fun fight. At the start, Tyrannus will dismount from his frostwyrm, who will fly around and throw ice at players (can’t dodge this..damage and stun) and the ground (dodge this…turns into ice patches that do a lot of damage and slow you if you’re on them). While this is going on, Tyr will alternately mark a target with Overlord’s Brand (which causes that target’s damage to reflect to the tank…stop DPS), Forceful Smash the tank (which hits for a lot, and knocks him back pretty far), and Empower, which doubles his damage for 10s. He usually Empowers right after a Smash, so if you’re tanking, position yourself with an ice patch somewhere behind you…you can kite him over the ice.

Dec 082009

Part 0: Introduction
Part 1: Why Play a Bear Tank?
Part 2: Talent Overview, Builds, Leveling
Part 3: Abilities, Rotation, Cooldowns
Part 4: Gear/Glyphs/Enchants/Gems/Consumables
Part 5: Addons and Other Resources

In this final section of my Bear Tank guide, I’ll present a list of additional resources that can help your tanking ability, both in-and-out of game.

Top 5 Tanking Addons

For those that don’t know (how’d you get this far, anyway?), addons are player-made pieces of code that add tools to the game not found in the default WOW interface. They can do many things, and will made your life as a tank MUCH easier. Here’s my top 5. (I’ve noted alternatives to each, in case you don’t like a particular addon for some reason. I’m also not including some addons that are useful but not really applicable to tanking, such as Bartender, Bagnon, Auctioneer, X-Perl, etc.)

  • Omen: Omen measures a target’s current threat levels, and can be configured to warn you when you or other players reach a certain level of threat, relative to the tank.  Omen allows you to be much more proactive with the use of your taunts to save lives. For example, if you see that pesky rogue sitting at 105% threat (remember, enemies change to targets in melee range at 110%, and ranged targets at 130%), a quick taunt will bump your threat equal to his and keep him alive. Without Omen, he likely pulls aggro and gets one-shot before you can react. Other options include integrated threat/dps meters (Recount/Skada).
  • Aloft: The downside to Omen is that it only displays threat on one target at a time, which makes keeping threat in AOE situations challenging. Aloft is an excellent answer to this. It allows for the customization of enemy nameplates, to include colorization based on threat. For example, (and this is configurable) a mob nameplate will appear red when it’s targeting me and I have top threat, turn orange when I lose top threat, and then turn yellow when it targets someone else. During AOE situations, I Swipe away, and change my target to any mobs that turn from red to orange, to taunt them before they can chase after someone else. (Note: this addon is only available on WoWInterface so you won’t be able to get it via Curse Client.) Another option that I’ve heard some good things about is TidyPlates + ThreatPlates.
  • Deadly Boss Mods: Warnings for Boss special abilities- gives you timer bars to see when an ability will happen, and a nice audio warning when it does. It (or something like it, i.e.  BigWigs or Deus Vox) is essentially a requirement for raiding. Keep it updated.
  • VuhDo: VuhDo (pronounced Vudu) is a “raidframe” addon that, simply, shows the health (and mana, if you choose) of everyone in the raid, in a compact form. While primarily targeted at healers (I use it when healing as Resto), this addon still has several uses for a tank. Other options for raidframes include Grid (add Clique for click-casting)  or a raidframe built into your unitframe addon (Pitbull, X-Perl, sUF)
    • Situational Awareness: Hey, wouldn’t it be great to know ASAP when the OT dies (gotta taunt that add!) or the healer assigned to you dies? (time to pop cooldowns!) Vuhdo does this for ya by conveniently greying out the boxes of dead players.
    • Rez/Innervate: Single-click rezzes and innervates. Can’t count the number of times I’ve been on a pug raid where a tank/healer dies and the RL goes “Ala, can you rez the…oh, thanks.” (Admittedly, this is much harder, but not impossible, to do while actually tanking.) I’ve also configured mine to show a (small) display of healer mana, so I can pop an Innervate on the lowest whenever feasible.
    • Raid Composition: I RL PUG raids fairly frequently, and Vuhdo has a feature where it can autosort players by role (tank/melee dps/ranged dps/healer). Nice to have.
  • NeedtoKnow: A fairly simple timer bar addon that monitors specific buffs/debuffs and their duration. It’s nice because it can monitor several buffs/debuffs in the same bar “slot.” If a bar’s missing, I know I need to apply that buff/debuff. (Other options: BadKitty and DroodFocus are pre-configured feral ones, which are nice but I prefer my own config. ClassTimer, TellMeWhen, Event Horizon, and DoTimer are other debuff trackers.) My setup, which works for both bear and kitty:
    • Bar 1: Savage Roar/AP debuff (Vindication/Demo Shout/Demo Roar)
    • Bar 2: Rake/Lacerate
    • Bar 3: Rip/Barkskin
    • Bar 4: Mangle debuff (Trauma/Mangle)
    • Bar 5; Armor debuff (Faerie Fire/Feral Faerie Fire)

Honorable Mentions:

  • Outfitter: Similar to the built-in Equipment Manager, but with additional features. Essential for me, since I’m constantly swapping specs and sets. (I have 3 full sets for bear/cat/resto, a partial set for PvP, a partial set for frost resistance gear, etc.)
  • Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text: Without resorting to the combat log, lets you actually SEE what hits you are dealing out/taking, and what heals you’re recieving. I like having the information in front of me, but I could do without it.
  • Pawn: Pawn is an in-game stat weighting addon. It’s very simple- it takes a set of stat weights that you give it and assigns items a score, based on their stats. This makes questions like “Is that higher ilvl PvP item an upgrade?” fairly easy. Rawr and Toskk’s website (see below) can generate stat weights for import to Pawn.
  • FeralByNight: More of a cat addon then a bear addon, this addon helps with rotations to try to achieve maximum DPS/TPS. It has a bear mode which I don’t trust much, but the cat mode is excellent.
  • Utopia/RaidBuffStatus: More useful as raidleader addons, these help with ensuring buffs are up on everyone pre-pull (RBS) and for tracking  to ensure every class is keeping debuffs on the target (Utopia).

Out-of-Game Resources and Links:

  • WoWHead: Chock full of everything WoW. Think WoW Google. Highly recommended.
  • WoWWiki: Like Wikipedia, WoW style. This and Wowhead should be your first two stops for almost anything. Highly recommended.
  • Curse: The primary repository for most WoW addons. You can download manually, or install the Curse Client for automated downloads/updates. Highly recommended.
  • Rawr: A downloadable program that will, based on your current character’s gear/talents, tell you which items/gems/enchants are upgrades for you, which stats you should prioritize, how much buffs help you, etc. Deisgned for Druids but later expanded to cover most other classes. Highly recommended.
  • Druid Wiki: An exclusive wiki for all things druid. Best known for hosting Toskk’s kitty DPS calculator and bear time-to-live calculator, with gearlists. Excellent Rawr (some say better than) alternative, especially for those at work. :) Highly recommended.
  • Elitist Jerks: By far, the best online forum for theorycraft discussion. Half my posts are stolen from EJ discussions. :) Note: they’re very strict about posting rules, so lurk for a good long time before attempting to post anything. Highly recommended.
  • WowInterface: A secondary addon repository, contains a few addons that Curse doesn’t have. Mostly manual updates, though they’re rolling out an automated tool soon (now?). Recommended.
  • Wow-Heroes: A website that will scan your gear and give you a “gear score,” based on your talents. I use it all the time for checking potential pugs. Recommended.
    WowPopular: A website that lists the most popular talent specs, equipment, enchants, etc, based on data mining. Helpful for finding specs for alts, but it’s better if you know WHY you’re choosing that spec. Recommended.
  • BossKillers: Boss strategies, usually well detailed. Recommended.
  • WoW Official Forums – Generally the occasional nugget of win in a torrent of fail. Not recommended.

Well, that wraps it up for the guide. If you have any comments, additions, or questions, post them in the comments of the respective sections and I’ll reply as soon as I can. Have a beary good day! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) :)

Nov 272009

Part 0: Introduction
Part 1: Why Play a Bear Tank?
Part 2: Talent Overview, Builds, Leveling
Part 3: Abilities, Rotation, Cooldowns
Part 4: Gear/Glyphs/Enchants/Gems/Consumables
Part 5: Addons and Other Resources

In this section, we’ll look at how to kit your bear out in sweet, shiny purples…that you’ll never see since you stare at bear butt the whole time. (ahem.) We’ll also look at the usual accoutrements- glyphs, enchants, gems, food, potions, what have you. (BAM! There’s your word for the day. That’s me, bringing literacy to the WoW world since 2008. It needs it. Badly.)


Before we begin looking at gear, I want to review the key bear statistics, and briefly cover a few tanking theory debates/tradeoffs.

Key Bear Statistics

  • Stamina: Stamina boosts your HP, which keeps you alive. It scales well with buffs.
  • Agility:  Agility gives you dodge, armor, and crit. Also scales well with buffs. 
  • Dodge Rating: Umm, gives you +dodge. :) Superior to Defense Rating.
  • Defense Rating: Gives you +dodge and the enemy +miss, but takes a lot more per point then straight dodge rating. Other tanks need defense much more than we do.
  • Armor: Reduces the damage taken from boss melee attacks and some special abilities.
  • Bonus Armor: Though not specifically broken out in the game as such, bonus armor is extra armor on jewelry/weapons that is not multiplied by your Bear Form talent. (This will be important in a bit.)
  • Hit/Expertise: Reduces your chance to miss (hit) and the enemy’s chance to dodge/parry (expertise). Mostly threat statistics, though they play into Savage Defense.
  • Strength/Attack Power/Crit/Haste/Armor Pen: All stuff that make you hit harder/faster. Again, mostly threat statistics, though they also play into Savage Defense.

Now, which of these statistics is the MOST important? Well, that’s where the debates come in.

Survival vs. Threat

You have two major roles as a tank.

1. Don’t die. (Survival)
2. Generate enough threat to keep the nasty (or nasties) attacking you and not someone else squishy. (Threat)

1 is VASTLY more important than 2…simply because it’s much easier to regain top threat (taunt, hunter misdirect, rogue ToTT, DPS’er threat drop, pally HoSalv) then it is to come back to life (druid brez, soulstone). Dying also usually means a few melee DPS are going to die, even if you do get a combat rez. Your DPS will probably argue with you on this point, since poor threat generation on your part makes their job harder; however, they’re missing the bigger picture. For most normal-mode encounters, poor threat generation is a minor problem that can be worked around by the DPS. As such, the gear advice I will present will be heavily slanted towards survival. Now, I’m not recommending you ignore threat entirely; however, the amount of threat generation  you need is very dependent on the DPS of your group, so it’s very hard to properly weight how important threat stats are.  (Now, once you get to things like hardmodes, threat generation becomes more important, since you’re dealing with much tighter timers. That’s past the scope of this guide.) Geting back to the point, focusing on survival naturally leads to another debate- what’s the best way to survive?

Effective Health vs. Avoidance

Tanks handle damage three ways. They avoid it via dodge (and parry for non-bear tanks), they reduce it via armor and block/Savage Defense, and they soak it via large HP pools.  Now, there’s not much you can do for armor, since that’s primarily based on the item level of your gear, so the debates come whether to focus on stamina, for better damage soaking, or avoidance, for less damage taken. There’s good and bad points to both sides.  Avoidance means you take less damage overall, so your healer’s mana isn’t strained as much, and also helps your threat/kitty DPS (assuming you gain it via gemming agility). Stamina, however, works on everything (avoidance is useless against magic and most boss special abilities), and makes you easier to heal, from a healer perspective, since it provides a reliable buffer. Bears also gain the most from stamina, vis-a-vis other tank classes, due to our talents.  As it stands now, I generally recommend stacking stamina, since bosses in TOC hit crazy hard. (Obviously, Anub is an exception.) Agility is good too, however, and I use it on the high ilvl pieces that I share with my kitty DPS set.

Stat Weights

Stat weighting is a systematic way to assess the quality of items, where each point of a statistic is given a “score.” To compare two items to see which is better, you simply check their scores (An addon named Pawn can do this for you in-game). Now, as with all things, the way you weight the scores is extremely important. I present two sets here- one focusing solely on survival, and one that tries to give a reasonable weight to threat statistics. Again, the threat calculations are very open to adjustment, depending on your situation. Kalon has his own set of weightings, complete with a link to Wowhead to show loot lists, on his site.

Bear Weights Surv/Threat Survival Only
Stamina 100 100
Agility 100 90
Dodge Rating 75 75
Defense Rating 70 70
Armor 40 40
Expertise Rating 30 30
Hit Rating 30 30
Strength 25 10
Haste Rating 20 5
Armor Penetration 20 0
Crit Rating 15 5
Attack Power 15 5
Bonus Armor 5 5

Pre-Instance Raid Gear

Bears have it pretty easy when it comes to gearing up. Since we are automatically crit-immune due to Survival of the Fittest, we don’t have to worry about our defense rating, and since we can only dodge, we don’t have to worry about balancing our avoidance scores. Also, our set bonuses are largely crap, so just get the highest ilvl leather (not  caster leather) you can. Your AOE threat generation is going to be pretty bad to start with, so if you’re trying to do PUG heroics with DPS in full T9, warn them to be careful (and then let them a die a few times, if they don’t get it).

Anyway, here’s a quick list of starter lvl 80 gear I put together, that can be acquired totally via solo play/AH purchases. This will get you into heroics, and once you accumulate some badges, you can move on to the better stuff. PVP/Wintergrasp gear is also very good, and can be used as a substitute. BBB has a good starter list on his site as well.


  • Head: Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector (+20 def, +37 stam)
  • Shoulder: Greater Inscription of the Pinnacle (+15 def, +20 dodge) or Gladiator (+15 resi, +30 stam).
  • Back: Major Agility (+22 agi) or Mighty Armor (+275 armor)
  • Chest: Powerful Stats (+10 all stats) or Heavy Borean Armor Kit (+18 stam)
  • Wrists: Major Stamina (+40 stam)
  • Hands: Major Agility (+20 agi) or Heavy Borean Armor Kit (+18 stam)
  • Legs: Frosthide Leg Armor (+22 agi/+55 stam)
  • Feet: Superior Agility (+16 agi) or Greater Fortitude (+22 stam) or Tuskarr’s Vitality (+15 stam +8% runspeed)
  • Weapon: Mongoose (+120 agi proc, roughly +60 agi sustained for single-target) or Blood Draining (+2k HP heal <35% HP, roughly every 60s)

Profession Bonuses


  • Mining: +60 base stam
  • Enchanting: unique +30 stam enchant on ringsx2 (+60 stam)
  • Jewelcrafting: unique Dragon’s Eye gems, +21 stam over Solids (+63 stam)
  • Blacksmithing: two extra sockets (+60 stam)
  • Leatherworking: unique wrist enchant (+62 stam), unique wrist resistance enchants (+70 specific element resistance)


  • Alchemy: +50% benefit, roughly, from flasks (+650 HP)
  • Inscription: unique shoulder enchant (+40 dodge)
  • Engineering: unique hand enchant (+885 armor for +20 agi or +18 stam), other cool stuff


  • Herbalism: 3600HP/5s free heal on 3minute cooldown
  • Skinning: +40 crit rating
  • Tailoring: +400AP for 15s proc to replace +22agi (bad for tanking)


Not a lot of options when it comes to glyph choice, and most of the glyphs are fairly weak. Pick whichever you like for minors, and as for majors:

  • Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration: FR by itself is fairly weak (3% of max health per second for 10s? That’s like 1200 HPS, or a third of what a geared healer can do). The glyph makes FR also increase all healing on you by 20%, which turns it into a reasonably strong cooldown.
  • Glyph of Survival Instincts: SI is a good tank-saving ability by itself (instant extra 30% current/max HP for 20 seconds). This ups that to 45%, which is great. A VERY well-geared bear can crack 100K health with glyphed SI.
  • Glyph of Maul: Maul hits two targets instead of one. This glyph ROCKS for trash.
  • Glyph of Growl: As Altosis pointed out previously, taunts are considered spells, so even with IFF and your melee hit, you’ll still have about a 5% chance to miss. If that can wipe your group, grab this glyph. Only for certain bosses.
  • Glyph of Berserk: This can give you a slight threat boost for DPS races. Only for certain bosses.


Gemming’s not too bad, since we don’t have to worry about defense. Let’s look at three possible situations.

  • All: Your metagem will be the Austere Earthsiege (+2% item armor). Great gem. Make sure it’s active…a Nightmare Tear will take care of the requirements.
  • Guild MT: Load up on Stam. You want Solid Majestic Zircons (+30 stam) everywhere. If the socket bonus is decent (+stam or +agi), pop in a Shifting Dreadstone (+10 agi/+15 stam) for a red or a Nightmare Tear (+10 all stats) for a yellow. (Other than the Nightmare Tear, which you can only have one of, there’s not a great yellow gem, though the Enduring Eye of Zul(+stam/+def) is decent. I usually prefer straight stam or agi in yellow slots.) You want big health pools to survive big hits. If you’re having threat problems, some +expertise gems may help, though I’d be very cautious about trying this route, since this will decrease your survivability.
  • Guild OT: Go for more of a balanced approach, since you won’t be tanking every fight, and you’ll want the +agi to buff your kitty DPS. If you care for the socket bonus, use Delicate Cardinal Rubies (+20 agi) for reds, Shifting Dreadstones for blues, and NT/take your pick for yellows. If you don’t, decide whether you want DPS/threat more (+agi) or health (+stam) and go with Delicates or Solids, depending. Personally, my tank set is gemmed with +stam, except for pieces that are shared with my cat set, which are gemmed +agi.
  • Kitty DPS’er who wants to tank a few Heroics: Go straight +agi. You’ll be fine for trash and OT duties. Do use at least one Shifting and one NT for the metagem activation.


Food is easy as well. From best to meh:

  • Blackened Dragonfin: +40 Agility and +40 Stamina. Best choice, use for progression. 
  • Rhinolicious Wormsteak: +40 Expertise Rating and 40 Stamina. Good choice for extra threat.
  • Fish Feast/Any +40 stam food: Not optimal, but perfectly fine for most stuff.
  • Any +30 stam food: Cheap eats.
  • Any +stam food: Super cheap eats. If you’re REALLY broke, Argent Crusade vendors sell Steaming Chicken Soup for 32s, which is +25 stam/spirit. Get this, at least. 


You have a bit more choice here. Your character can have either a Battle elixir AND a Guardian elixir, OR a flask, which counts for both. Elixirs are cheap, and best suited for easier content. Flasks are expensive, but they last for an hour (2 with Alchemy) and, more importantly, persist after death, making them ideal for progression.


  • Flask of Stoneblood: +1300 HP. Best choice, period.
  • Flask of Fortification(TBC): +500 HP, +10 def. The cheaper flask option.
  • Lesser Flask of Resistance: +50 resistance to all schools of magic. May be a better option for magic-damage heavy fights. (Anub’arak in TOC)

Battle Elixirs:

  • Guru’s Elixir: +20 to all stats. These are incredibly cheap now, so I use these for most anything non-progression.
  • Elixir of Mighty Agility: +45 agility. Nice if you feel you need more avoidance, but I prefer the Guru’s if I’m using elixirs.
  • Elixir of Expertise: +45 expertise. Good for supplementing threat.
  • Elixir of Accuracy: +45 hit. Good for supplementing threat.

Guardian Elixirs:

  • Elixir of Protection: +800 armor. A very nice elixir. I rate the  +20 stats or +45 agility/+800 armor combo just slightly under +1300 HP, in terms of survivability.
  • Elixir of Defense: +45 defense. Not very good.
  • Elixir of Mighty Fortitude: +350 health, +20 hp5. Bleh.


  • Indestructible Potion: +3500 armor for 2 minutes. With the double pot trick (pop it right before pull, which lets you use another pot 2 minutes in) you can get 4 minutes of +3500 armor, which is GREAT.
  • Runic Healing Potion: Restores 2700-4500 health. The old standby.
  • Mighty (x) Protection Potion: Absorbs 4200-6000 of (x) element damage. Better then RHP’s for magic damage fights, but you should still prefer Indestructibles unless it’s a TOTALLY magic-damage fight (ie armor is useless).

That’s about it. If you have any comments or questions, leave them in the comments. I’ll be finishing up this guide soon, with some random tips, add-on advice, etc. that didn’t really fit anywhere else. I also discovered my links at the top were broken, so those have been fixed now.  Have a great day!

EDIT: Doh…left out the enchants/professions part…readded.

Oct 292009

Part 0: Introduction
Part 1: Why Play a Bear Tank?
Part 2: Talent Overview, Builds, Leveling
Part 3: Abilities, Rotation, Cooldowns
Part 4: Gear/Glyphs/Enchants/Gems/Consumables
Part 5: Addons and Other Resources

In this section, we’ll look at all your bearish abilities, and then see how to tie those together into a cohesive rotation to accomplish your goal. (I have a single-target, multi-target, and Faction Champions rotation…scroll down for those.) 
Now, my priority list as a tank is pretty simple:
1. Don’t die. Keep all AP/attack speed debuffs up, use pots as needed, don’t stand in fire, etc.
2. Don’t let healers/DPS die; in fights with adds, keep head on a swivel to taunt/FF/charge stuff to get it on me.
3. Maximize my TPS, to not hold back our best DPS’ers.
4. If not actively tanking RIGHT NOW, pop off an Innervate/rebirth/rebuff/cyclone/root/etc. as needed.
5. Learn good kitty DPS to maximize raid DPS when I’m not needed to tank.

The discussion of the abilities below flows from that priority list, which you should always keep in mind.  Before I begin with abilities, however, let’s look closer at rage, our core threat mechanic, and also at the bonuses from our bear form.

Rage isn’t too complicated. All bear abilities require rage. Unlike mana or energy, rage does not regenerate on its own (rather, it degenerates out of combat). There are four main ways to gain rage: hitting the enemy, being hit, dodging, and abilities. Generally, being hit is your primary source of rage generation for single-target fights. For AOE low-damage situations, your Primal Fury talent gives you 5 rage for every crit, so swiping generally will take care of your needs there. Unlike TBC, where “rage starvation” was a major issue, having enough rage for all your abilities is generally not a problem, and your Enrage ability will save you for emergency situations. If you find yourself running into rage issues consistently in heroics…pull more/faster, since you probably outgear the content. :) Don’t forget that Furor can give you 10 rage when shifting into bear, so shift (or powershift…I’ll discuss that in a sec) and pop Enrage before a pull, to start with 40 rage.

Dire Bear Form
Shapeshift into dire bear form, increasing melee attack power by X, armor contribution from items by 370%, and Stamina by 25%. Also protects the caster from Polymorph effects and allows the use of various bear abilities.
Ah, the spell that makes it all possible. Fun facts about bear form:
1. You are now immune to Polymorph, but are now vulnerable to Scare Beast/Hibernate. That’s a PVE buff (a few things poly, almost nothing does SB/Hibernate).
2. You can break snares and roots by shapeshifting or powershifting. Powershifting is simply recasting your current form; (/cast !Dire Bear Form) it keeps you in bear, but breaks the root/snare. Useful for Hodir, Faction Champs, and some others. Note that this will empty your rage bar and use a GCD, so in a tight threat situation like Hodir HM, it might be best to just take the damage.


A strong attack that increases melee damage by X. Effects which increase Bleed damage also increase Maul damage.
Range: Melee
Average damage (for me): ~3800
Cooldown: No CD; replaces next melee strike. Bear base melee speed is 2.5s, reduced by haste.
Cost: 10 Rage (plus no rage gain from the strike)
Glyph Effect: Your Maul ability now hits one additional target.

Maul is the first bear form ability you get, and remains your core strike for threat generation and damage. It is an “on next melee” attack, which means it will replace your next melee (or white-damage) attack with a 3x as powerful special strike. There’s not much to strategize with Maul; use it all the time. This is very different from Warriors, who have Heroic Strike as a rage dump, but prefer to use rage for other abilities, if rage is limited. The easiest way to use Maul (since it’s a royal pain to toggle on for every swing) is a simple macro (using Mangle as an example):

#showtooltip Mangle
/cast !Maul
/cast Mangle

(The exclamation point prevents it from being accidentally toggled off if you hit it twice.) I macro Maul to all my abilities, and I’ve never had a problem with being rage starved, especially with the new Enrage. Generally, Maul will be around 50-60% of your damage done for a single-target fight.
Glyph-wise, the Glyph of Maul is awesome. Berserk + glyphed Maul means you will ROCK DPS/TPS for 2-3 mob pulls. (I regularly top overall DPS meters in H CoS, for example.) Be prepared to switch it out, though, if you’re using CC, or just be careful to put CC’d targets behind you. Crits proc Savage Defense and Imp. LOTP.

Mangle the target for X damage and cause the target to take 30% additional damage from bleeds for 12 sec.
Range: Melee
Average damage (for me): ~2400
Cooldown: 6s, can be reduced to 4.5s with 3/3 in Improved Mangle
Cost:15 Rage
Glyph Effect: Increases the duration of Mangle by 6 seconds.

Mangle is your 2nd major attack, learned at level 50. Mangle hits for good damage, and also places a powerful debuff on the enemy that causes bleeds + Maul to hit 30% harder. Mangle is also your 2nd highest priority attack for single or two-target fights, not so much for the damage, as for the debuff boosting your Mauls + cat druid/rogue/warrior dps.  (For 2 targets, simply alternate Mangles on each to keep the debuff up). Berserk temporarily removes Mangle’s CD and allows it to hit 3 targets, which lets you spam Mangle for good damage. Generally, Mangle will be about 15% of your damage done, depending on how much Berserk mangling you do.
Now, as for the Improved Mangle talent, I wouldn’t pick it up. I’ll spare you the math, but a 25% buff to an attack that’s only 15% of your damage done isn’t that great. It works out to about a 2% DPS/TPS boost (when you account for things like FFF GCD clashes, etc); which I don’t feel is worth it for three points. The glyph is also pretty useless for bears, as you should be mangling every 6s (or 4.5s) anyway. Crits proc Savage Defense and Imp. LOTP.

Lacerates the enemy target, dealing X bleed damage and making them bleed for Y damage over 15 sec. Damage increased by attack power. This effect stacks up to 5 times on the same target.
: Melee
Average damage (for me): ~150 direct damage, ~1200 DoT damage (every 3 sec)
Cooldown: GCD (1.5s)
Cost: 15 Rage
Glyph Effect: N/A

Lacerate is interesting. The ability itself only does a tiny amount of damage (100-200) Even fully stacked, however, its damage hardly compares to that of Maul or Mangle, so only Lacerate when those abilities are on cooldown, and once Lacerate is stacked 5x, Lacerate only when needed to keep the stack from dropping off. Like Mangle, Lacerate usually does about 15% of your damage. Crits (from the strike) proc Savage Defense and Imp. LOTP; DoT crits proc SD but not ILOTP.  (I think…have to double check, or maybe Kalon will chime in and tell me.)

Faerie Fire (Feral)
Decrease the armor of the target by 5% for 5 min. While affected, the target cannot stealth or turn invisible. Deals X damage when used in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form
: 30 yds
Average damage (for me): ~1300
Cooldown: 6s
Cost: 0 Rage (free!)
Glyph Effect: N/A

FFF, as it’s generally known, is a key weapon in a bear’s arsenal. It’s ranged, it does a good bit of damage and threat, it costs 0 rage, and it places a helpful debuff on the enemy. Excellent as a pulling attack or a “mini-taunt.” Also good to weave into a rotation once Lacerate is fully stacked. Should do about 5% of your damage if you’re using it on CD.

Swipe nearby enemies, inflicting X damage.
: 5 yds AOE around player (may possibly be buffed in 3.3)
Average damage(for me): ~750
Cooldown: GCD (1.5s)
Cost: 15 Rage
Glyph Effect: N/A

Swipe is your main AOE attack; it’s fairly boring, but effective. It has no cooldown, so AOE fights generally consist of mindlessly spamming Swipe and refreshing Demo Roar as needed, until stuff dies. It’s one of the very few AOE tanking abilities that can be used while moving, so at least that’s positive, and it’s better than reusing Lacerate on a single-target fight. Crits proc Savage Defense and Imp. LOTP.

Demoralizing Roar
The druid roars, decreasing nearby enemies’ melee attack power by X. Lasts 30 sec.
: 10 yds AOE around player (may possibly be buffed in 3.3)
Cooldown: GCD (1.5s)
Cost: 10 Rage
Glyph Effect: N/A

Demo Roar is a VERY important debuff against bosses. Attack power works very differently for NPC’s than it does for characters; essentially, Demo Roar means a ~10% reduction in enemy boss melee damage. Except on DPS race fights, your first priority is always always always make sure Demo Roar (or Demo Shout from a warrior, or Vindication from a pally) is up. For hardmode encounters, having the talented improved version (which adds an extra ~5% reduction) is very nice. In general, it’s best to let the palas put it up, since they only have to spend 2 talent pts to get the ability and improved version. (boo.)

When activated, this ability causes your Mangle (Bear) ability to hit up to 3 targets and have no cooldown, and reduces the energy cost of all your Cat Form abilities by 50%. Lasts 15 sec. You cannot use Tiger’s Fury while Berserk is active. Clears the effect of Fear and makes you immune to Fear for the duration.
Cooldown: 3m
Cost: 0 Rage
Glyph Effect: Increases the duration of Berserk by 5s.

Berserk is great for small-group tanking. It really shines in heroics, for example, since heroics only have groups of 3-4, usually, and Berserk hits most/all of those, plus instantly spreads the Mangle debuff for epic Mauling. In a single-target environment, it’s still a DPS/TPS boost- stack your Lacerate, make sure Demo Roar is up, and go. Don’t let Lacerate drop, though; if you pop Berserk immediately after refreshing Lacerate (and Demo Roar, if needed) you’ll only have to trade off one Mangle. The glyph is okay (and fun for heroics if you like showing up DPS’ers on meters) but I prefer the survivability glyphs.

Threat Management

Taunts the target to attack you.
: 30 yds
Cooldown: 8s
Cost: 0 Rage
Glyph Effect: Increases the chance of Growl to work successfully by 8%.

Growl is the bear version of the standard taunt. All taunts work the same way: They set your threat (aggro) equal to the highest person’s threat on that target, and they force the target to attack you for 3s. Simply put, don’t use a taunt if a boss is still attacking you; use it when it goes after someone else. (Or, let them die to teach them to manage their own threat. Depends on how charitable you’re feeling.)
Remember, bosses can go immune to taunt if they’re taunted too often, so if you’re fighting a boss which demands tank swaps, only switch once, not twice. For example, Thorim puts a 10s debuff on a tank (Unbalancing Strike) which demands a tank swap. Don’t taunt back from the OT as soon as your debuff drops; wait until HE gets the debuff, THEN taunt back.
In regards to the Glyph: Growl is the only bear ability that uses spell hit chance, not melee hit chance (so 17% to cap, instead of 8%). Most tanks will not have enough hit (nor should they) to cap Growl normally, so the glyph ensures that swaps go off without a hitch. Very useful for fights requiring swaps, such as Thorim, Iron Council, or Gormok.

Challenging Roar
Forces all nearby enemies to focus attacks on you for 6 sec.
: 10 yds AOE around player
Cooldown: 3m (reducible to 2m30s with glyph)
Cost: 15 Rage
Glyph Effect: Reduces the cooldown of Challenging Roar by 30s. (Minor glyph).

This isn’t as useful an ability as it appears at first glance. CR only forces enemies to attack you; it does not affect threat AT ALL. If you’re way behind on threat, this isn’t going to catch you up…and if you’ve just lost threat, most enemies are going for your ranged/healers, so they’ll probably be out of range anyway. I use this rarely. It CAN be used to compensate for a missed taunt/taunt on CD in certain occasions…since Growl has an 8s cooldown, typically this will hold something until Growl comes back up. If you’re OT’ing adds, be careful you don’t accidentally pull the boss off the MT with it, especially when said boss gets pissy if you’re not in melee range. (Hello, Kologarn!)

Survival Cooldowns

The druid’s skin becomes as tough as bark. All damage taken is reduced by 20%. While protected, damaging attacks will not cause spellcasting delays. This spell is usable while stunned, frozen, incapacitated, feared or asleep. Usable in all forms. Lasts 12 sec.
Cooldown: 1m (off GCD)
Cost: 0 Rage
Glyph Effect: Reduces the chance you’ll be critically hit while Barkskin is active by melee attacks by 25%. (PVP)

Your bread-and-butter damage reduction ability. Not much to say; try to save it for moments that you know you’ll be taking extra damage. It is off the GCD andcan be used almost anytime, even during effects that normally stun/ incapacitate you. (And moments where you’re stunned are generally good moments to use it). The glyph is only for PVP.

Survival Instincts
When activated, this ability temporarily grants you 30% of your maximum health for 20 sec while in Bear Form, Cat Form, or Dire Bear Form. After the effect expires, the health is lost.
: 3m
Cost: 0 Rage
Glyph Effect: Increases the percentage of your maximum health received from Survival Instincts to 45%

This ability does two things. First, it increases your maximum health by 30/45%; second, it gives you 30/45% HP, and removes it 20s later. For example: Say my bear has 40k max HP, and is currently at 20k health. If I pop unglyphed SI, his max health becomes 52k, and he gains 12k health, to now have 32k. This is very useful when you’re about to die (it basically works as a huge health potion) and also proactively, to survive an incoming big hit. (Mimiron’s Plasma Blast.) Note that when the CD wears off, you’ll LOSE the amount you gained as your max drops back down. This cannot kill you, but it will leave you at 1 HP, and can kill you if your healers are not prepared. The glyph is very helpful and should be taken.

Frenzied Regeneration
Converts up to 10 Rage per second to health for 10 sec. Each point of Rage is converted into 0.3% of max health.
Cooldown: 3m
Cost: 0 Rage
Glyph Effect: Increases the healing done to you by 20% while Frenzied Regeneration is active.

FR heals you for 30% of your max HP over 10s. The healing done by FR does scale with SI, the glyph, Battlemaster’s trinkets, as well as other +healing effects. The heal itself is only marginally useful for emergency situations (you need health NOW, not over time), but it can be used proactively very well, especially when glyphed, and is absolutely amazing for soloing old content. With both abilities glyphed, Frenzied Regen will heal for 50-55% of your health.


Stuns the target for 4 sec (talentable to 5s) and interrupts spellcasting for 3 sec
Cooldown: 60s; talentable to 30s
Cost: 10 Rage
Glyph Effect: N/A

Your interrupt/stun, which, sadly, is the weakest of the four classes. The long cooldown prevents it from being relied on for any fights which REQUIRE interrupts (Vezax). Helpful for trash, I suppose, since most DPS won’t bother interrupting on trash.

Feral Charge
Bear – Causes you to charge an enemy, immobilizing and interrupting any spell being cast for 4 sec. This ability can be used in Bear Form and Dire Bear Form.
: 8-25 yds
Cooldown: 15s
Cost: 5 Rage
Glyph Effect: N/A

Unlike Bash, this ability is incredibly fun to play around with, and useful as well. Many bosses have knockback, and charging back in prevents the boss from moving too much (a good thing). The spell interrupt is less useful in combat (due to the min range) but if you’re good, you can strafe away and charge back in before the spell fires. The cat version is also useful, since you can charge from stealth, and kitty charges take you to the back of the boss (if you want him instantly turned around) Most importantly, however; you take no damage if you charge out of a fall. You know what that means:

Aerial. Bear. Strike.

I’m serious. Fly over your target, shift to bear mid-air, enrage while you’re falling, and charge them before you hit ground. Insanely fun for PVP. (Otherwise known as a Bearbomb.) Just don’t miss. You can do this in cat, too, but it’s not as cool. :)

Other Useful Abilities

Generates 20 rage instantly and an additional 10 rage over 10 sec, but reduces base armor by 27% in Bear Form and 16% in Dire Bear Form.
Cooldown: 60s
Cost: 0 Rage
Glyph Effect: N/A

You need rage to do anything, and this gets you started if you’re dry. The armor reduction is fairly minor, so if you need rage for some reason while tanking, don’t hesitate to pop it. Actually, as Kalon pointed out in the comments, the armor reduction means that you’ll probably take an extra +15% damage. I should have explained myself better. Don’t use Enrage while MT’ing big stuff; use it for OT’ing things that don’t hit hard, or when you need to stay 2nd on threat but can’t take any damage to boost your rage, etc. Don’t forget that the King of the Jungle talent gives you +15% damage while Enraged, so if you have it, use it with Berserk for a nice DPS/TPS boost.

Causes the target to regenerate mana equal to 225% of the casting Druid’s base mana pool over 10 sec..
Cooldown: 3m
Glyph Effect: Your Innervate ability now has an additional 20% strength mana regeneration effect on you in addition to the effect on your primary target.

If you’re not actively tanking (boss phase change, for instance), toss a healer an Innervate. They’re keeping you alive, after all.

Returns the spirit to the body, restoring a dead target to life with X health and Y mana
Cooldown: 20m (10m in 3.3)
Glyph Effect: Players resurrected by Rebirth are returned to life with 100% health (major glyph); Your Rebirth spell no longer requires a reagent (minor glyph).

Again, if you’re not actively tanking, toss a healer/tank/DPS a rez. Many wipes are saved by timely Rebirths on key raid members. If you’re slick, you can find times while tanking to toss a Rebirth (you only need 3.5s if you’re fast). Don’t get one-shot out of Bear form, though. If there’s another tank up, have him taunt and hold the boss while you rez. The Glyph is not that great, with the exception of constant AOE damage fights (Anub, Iron Council)

Mark/Gift of the Wild
Increases the friendly target’s armor by X, all attributes by Y and all resistances by Z for 30 min.
Cooldown: GCD
Glyph Effect: Decrease the mana cost of your Mark of the Wild and Gift of the Wild by 50%. (minor glyph)

Your buff spell. Use it. Gift is the raid version that requires a reagent and lasts twice as long; don’t forget reagents unless you like separately buffing 25 people after every wipe.

Entangling Roots
Nature’s Grasp
Travel Form
Abolish Poison/Remove Curse

I’m not discussing these spells individually, since you won’t be using them much (if at all) while tanking; but they come in handy for PVP (or faux-PVP…*cough* FC *cough*). Nature’s Grasp can be cast in-form, so it can be used as an emergency CC for trash or something (root it, step away, brez, come back).


The term “rotation” is a bit out-of-date. It’s much better to think of your abilities on a “priority” system, and use the higher priority ones when available.


  1. Demoralizing Roar (if not kept up by another)
  2. Berserk (for DPS races)
  3. (Maul) Keep queued at all times.
  4. Mangle
  5. Feral Faerie Fire (to apply debuff if no moonkin)
  6. Lacerate (If Lacerate not fully stacked)
  7. Berserk (regular)
  8. Faerie Fire
  9. Lacerate (if Lacerate stack is about to drop)
  10. Swipe

Summarized, keep Demo Roar up; Berserk early, if you need high threat immediately, if not, wait for Lacerate to be fully stacked, so it can tick during Berserk; always Maul/Mangle; get the FF debuff up before stacking Lacerate if no moonkin, else stack Lacerate first; then go to normal rotation, which is Mangle-FFF-X-X. X is one of Demo Roar/Berserk/Lacerate if needed to keep stack up/Swipe. If you have Improved Mangle, this becomes Mangle-FFF-X. If you’re just starting out tanking, feel free to ignore Swipe entirely; it’s a small improvement to DPS/TPS, but nothing major.


  1. Demoralizing Roar
  2. (Maul)
  3. Berserked Mangle
  4. Mangle (for 2 targets only, tab back and forth)
  5. Swipe

Yeah, pretty easy, and you can get away with just spamming Swipe + Glyphed Maul. It’s good to tab around a bit when fighting 3 or more targets so that your Mauls spread around some.

Healer Lockdown (For Faction Champions or PVP funsies)

This is fun as hell and really shows off druid shapeshifting abilities. Start stealthed in cat. By yourself, you can get 26s of 100% lockdown, then 19s of the next 26s, then 16s of the next 26s (repeated.) With a helper, you can achieve 100% lockdown. Use Berserk to break a fear, use a PvP trinket to break other stuff. Note that this doesn’t work as well on the tree druid since heals primarily via HOT’s (so interrupts are less important), but you can combo cyclones with a warlock’s banish or a ret pally repentance. Remember that they can trinket one on heroic…typically it’s the first CC, which is a one-shot CC here anyway.

  1. Pounce (3sec stun)
  2. Maim (3sec interrupt, wait for cast)
  3. Cyclonex1 (6sec CC) If you have the instant-nature spell proc, you can wait to interrupt a cast, else time it to land 3s after you Maim. Pop a totem or two.
  4. Cyclonex2 (3sec CC)
  5. Cyclonex3 (1.5 sec CC) Cyclone on 15s DR.
  6. Bear Feral Charge, wait for cast (3sec interrupt)
  7. Bash, wait for cast (3sec interrupt) Go cat, Rake to get a CP
  8. Maim, wait for cast (3sec interrupt)
  9. Wait for Cyclone DR to be up, should be about 5-6s…try to get a poly/repentance/fear.
  10. Start with Cyclone again, repeat. You won’t have Bash available this time, so you’ll need 2 consecutive CC’s from a helper or 1 from 2 others (or your DPS will have to burn through 9s of heals). Don’t forget Warstomp if you’re a tauren.

Wow…3,500 words down. Part 4 and 5 to go. I’ll have to go back and fix the links to/from the other parts of the guide, but I want to get this out now so I can stop looking at it. :)

Oct 202009

This is the continuation of my [Glory of the Hero] achievement guide; see part 1 here. Today, we’ll tackle the harder instance achievements; Oculus, AK/AN, and Gundrak.

The Oculus
Note: It’s generally easier, assuming your healer is decent, for him to heal from the ground rather than on an Emerald Drake. While he’s very vulnerable, as long as the drakes stay at max healing range and kite Arcane Spheres the same way, he should be okay.

  • [Experienced Drake Rider]
    On three different visits to The Oculus, get credit for defeating Ley-Guardian Eregos while riding an Amber, Emerald, and Ruby drake on Heroic Difficulty.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    No real strategy to this. Hardest part is finding Oculus PUG’s.
  • [Amber Void]
    Defeat Ley-Guardian Eregos in The Oculus on Heroic Difficulty without anyone in your party using an Amber Drake.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    The easiest of the Void achievements. Not complicated, strategy wise, just load up on Ruby Drakes and pick away at Eregos’s health.
  • [Emerald Void]
    Defeat Ley-Guardian Eregos in The Oculus on Heroic Difficulty without anyone in your party using an Emerald Drake.
    Challenge: Moderate
    Special Group Composition Needed: Good healer (or 2 average ones)
    As noted above, this just takes a decent healer. Have the healer dismount on one of the islands surrounding Eregos, pull Eregos to that spot, and kill him there. 1 Ruby + 3 Ambers will do the trick (or 1 + 2 if you want to run 2 healers, to be extra safe). For the Arcane Sphere kiting phases, just have the drakes do a quick, tight loop around the center circle, and come back to the starting platform.  Remember that healers can buff the drakes: the priest Fortitude buff is exceptionally helpful.
  • [Make It Count]
    Defeat Ley-Guardian Eregos in The Oculus on Heroic Difficulty within 20 minutes of Drakos the Interrogator’s death.
    Challenge: Hard
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Obviously, work out who’s riding which drakes, and the strat for Eregos before you kill Drakos. Don’t stop to loot; it’ll all be there to get later if you want it.
    1. As soon as Drakos dies, everyone grab their assigned drake. I recommend 4 amber/1 ruby (for the heal  from ground strategy) or 3 amber/1 ruby/1 emerald.
    2. Fly straight up, then east, and have the whole group fly directly above  their landing location on the construct platform. Have all the Amber drakes pop their timestop at the same time. (Why? Timestop puts 5 stacks of shock charges on each enemy drake affected by the timestop, which makes the first shock lance from the amber that timestopped hit for about 40% of the enemy drake’s HP. However, these charges are per player: 3 or 4 ambers popping timestop simultaneously, then firing one lance at each drake, will clear the platforms lightning fast.) It’s better to clear more than less; I’ve seen many more achievement runs fail because an extra drake started attacking the dismounted party, then fail because they ran out of time.
    3. Kill the eastern constructs, fly to center ring, clear it all the way around, fly to western platform, kill drakes, kill constructs.
    4. Fly to boss platform, kill drakes (this is the one where most people pull drakes on, so clear this one well), kill boss.
    5. Fly up, fly to third boss spots, kill mobs, kill third boss.
    6. Fly to a base platform, finish off any whelps that aggroed, buff drakes, pull Eregos, kill. (See Ruby Void for tips on fast Eregos DPS.) I did this in a group with Ulduar 10-level gear…the first attempt, we had about 7 individual deaths, miscommunications, everything, and still killed Eregos in about 21:30. The 2nd attempt, everything went smooth, and we downed him in about 16 minutes.
  • [Ruby Void]
    Defeat Ley-Guardian Eregos in The Oculus on Heroic Difficulty without anyone in your party using a Ruby Drake.
    Challenge: Hard
    Special Group Composition Needed: No; Voice chat highly recommended
    The hardest of the voids, simply because Amber Drakes have no effective way to deal with the adds that Eregos spawns. There’s several ways to do this, however.
    1. Fast burn: Go 1 Emerald/4  Amber (or healer on ground/4 Amber, or 5 Amber if you’re feeling cocky). 1 Amber is assigned as “main channeler,” and continuously channels Rift while the other Ambers spam Lance.  This will quickly build the channelers Shock Charge stack. Once the “main channeler” reaches 10 stacks of Shock Charge, he calls for “group channel,” and the rest of the Ambers start channeling Rift. Channel 1 then stops channeling Rift and fires a single lance, which will detonate for huge damage. This will instantly stack 10 stacks of Shock Charge for the other Ambers channeling Rift. He then calls “main channel,” starts channeling Rift; the rest of the group fires one lance, which does mega-huge damage, and stacks the main channeler’s stacks to 10 instantly. Repeat. While all this is going on, have one drake time stop at 8 seconds after pull, and a 2nd and 3rd drake timestop immediately after the first; if done correctly, Eregos will be pushed into 60% HP and phase without ever spawning whelps. Again, repeat with Ambers 4, (5)1, and 2 8 seconds after he phases back in for 60%-20%, and then back to 3 and 4 for kill.
    2. Grind it out: Go 3 Amber, 1 Emerald, 1 ground healer (or 2 Emeralds).  The Ambers will be rotating time stops every 20 seconds (use the in-game stopwatch to time it…/sw). Once an Amber time stops, that will stack 5 charges on each whelp currently up; 1-2 Lance shots will down the whelp. Other than that, DPS as above, or if channel rotating proves difficult, assign 1 drake to permanently channel (except when whelp downing). 1 Emerald keeps the Nightmare debuff up and heals; the other Emerald/healer heals. Note that Eregos will eventually go immune to the time stops, which is fine; the point is dropping whelps.

Ahn’Kahet: The Old Kingdom

  • [Respect Your Elders]
    Defeat Elder Nadox in Ahn’kahet on Heroic Difficulty without killing any Ahn’kahar Guardians.
    Challenge: Moderate
    Special Group Composition Needed: 2nd tank or good DPS.
    Easiest way of doing this is to have the MT kite Nadox to the base of the stairs outside his room (the little nook with the small spiders to the right of the stairs) while having an OT/DPS in his room hold the spawning guardians. I’ve done this successfully with an enh shammy as the OT.
  •  [The Party’s Over]
    Defeat Prince Taldaram in Ahn’kahet on Heroic Difficulty with less than 5 people.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Not difficult. Kick the unlucky 5th (one of the DPS) right before the pull; the 5th can DPS for a full minute until he’s yanked out of the instance. Obviously, that person won’t get the achievement, so they’ll have to try again the next day.
  • [Volazj’s Quick Demise]
    Defeat Herald Volazj in Ahn’kahet on Heroic Difficulty in 2 minutes or less.
    Challenge: Hard
    Special Group Composition Needed: High DPS; warrior tank and healer with dps offspec makes things easier
    The challenge for this achievement, obviously, is getting through Insanity. Volazj starts to cast Insanity at 66% and 33% health, which creates 4 “clones” with 14k HP.  Everyone is phased to where they can only see clones of the rest of their party; once a person kills his or her first 4 clones, he is phased into another person’s phase, where he can help them kill their 4, and so on. This achievement can be completed without any adjustments with a good group, but here’s some tips to make it easier:
    1. If the healer has a DPS offspec, have them switch to it. Volazj doesn’t hit too hard (though he can wipe out a tank that’s low from fighting clones) The game looks at your talent spec when deciding the clone’s behavior, so a resto druid can go boomkin, for example, and still wear resto gear to heal. This makes killing clones MUCH easier.
    2.  Warrior tanks can spell reflect Volazj’s Mind Flay’s for good damage.
    3. A high DPS group can go through the first Insanity, then burn Volazj from 33%-0% before he casts it the second time (or have DoTs kill him during second Insanity, etc.) Easier if you have a healer DPS’ing.
    4. You can remove your weapons before cloning, and wield them right after, to gimp your clone.
  •  [Volunteer Work]
    Defeat Jedoga Shadowseeker in Ahn’kahet on Heroic Difficulty without killing any Twilight Volunteers.
    Challenge: Easy-Moderate
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Jedoga enrages when the Volunteer reaches her; have any melee DPS back off until she loses the enrage, then go back in. Hits hard while enraged; requires a well-geared tank and healer.  


  • [Watch Him Die]
    Defeat Krik’thir the Gatewatcher in Azjol-Nerub on Heroic Difficulty while Watcher Gashra, Watcher Narjil and Watcher Silthik are still alive.
    Challenge: Hard
    Special Group Composition Needed: A good kiter (who is preferably a tank), a well-geared MT
    I’ve attempted this achievement many many times, and the basic strategy most people try (two tanks) is very difficult.  The elites all do random web wraps and stuns, so most two-tank attempts usually fail when the healer, or both tanks, get wrapped. A much better strategy involves kiting.
    1. After clearing the first two pulls, work out the agro strategy. The kiter has to agro one mob out of each of the three groups; a hunter or rogue can MD/TotT a group if needed. For example, on my druid (starting in bear), I hit one group with Faerie Fire, hit the 2nd with a taunt, and had the 3rd MD’d to me. This needs to happen quickly to prevent the kiter from taking too much damage (or a wrap).
    2a. Once the three groups are aggroed, the kiter heads up the tunnel, preferably popping a Swiftness Potion or equivalent to get some speed, and stops before the instance door. If done correctly, it’ll take the add groups a good 25-30 seconds to reach you. Stay alive as long as you can; once you die, the adds will return to attack the rest of the party, but they’ll still have to make it the rest of the way back down the tunnel.
    2b. Meanwhile, the rest of the party charges Krik’thir and nukes him down. Note that no abilities can be used which generate global threat (heals, buffs, etc), as the kiter only has contact agro. Once the kiter is dead and the adds are returning, heals can be used; however, I’ve found it easier to use a well-geared tank and 3 DPS and just burn the boss. If your healer has dualspec, try it and see how it works.
  • [Hadronox Denied]
    Defeat Hadronox in Azjol-Nerub on Heroic Difficulty before he webs the top doors and prevents more creatures from spawning.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Have a character that can drop combat (NE/Rogue/Hunter) pull the first mob and drop…this will despawn everything. Everyone runs down the tunnel, and burns the boss when he pops. It can be done legitimately by fast killing, but it’s harder. This achievement is also buggy as hell, in my experience.
  • [Gotta Go!]
    Defeat Anub’arak in Azjol-Nerub on Heroic Difficulty in 3 minutes or less.
    Challenge: Moderate
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Not much to say here; just need decent DPS.


  • [Snakes. Why’d It Have To Be Snakes?]
    Defeat Slad’ran in Gundrak on Heroic Difficulty without getting snake wrapped.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Kite the boss up the long spiral ramp, kill at top. Slad is also a good DPS check for [Less-Rabi]; if you can kill Slad in 14-15s then you’ve got a good shot at burning Rabi.
  • [Less-rabi]
    Defeat Moorabi in Gundrak on Heroic Difficulty while preventing him from transforming into a mammoth at any point during the encounter.
    Challenge: Very Hard
    Special Group Composition Needed: Shaman, 4DPS + tank for burn method
    This is easily the hardest 5-man achievement to get for GotH, and as such, I’ll go over Moor-abi’s mechanics in a bit greater detail than usual. Transformation is his key spell, which must be interrupted to prevent him from transforming. It operates under the following rules:
    -First cast 10s into pull; recast every 10s thereafter, or every 5s if below 50% HP. If locked out from spellcasting for over 5s (Shield Bash, Counterspell) while under 50%, will generally recast as soon as able.
    -Has a 4s cast time that speeds up in an inverse relationship with Moorabi’s health; i.e. a 2s cast time at 50% health, a 1s cast time at 25s, etc.
    -Can also randomly cast Quake which will stun the party for 2s (and kill the attempt, generally).With these mechanics in mind, there are two strategies that are commonly used.
    1. Fast burn. With this method, you’re looking to interrupt his first cast and kill him before he gets his second off, so you need to down him in 18s or so. He has 431k HP, so you’re looking at about 24,000 party DPS over that span (if the tank can pull 2k, that’s about 5.5k DPS per person). This is pretty high, so you’ll need a shaman for Hero/BL, as well as speed potions for all DPS’ers (and just plain good gear- 220 level). Have the tank interrupt the first cast, as late into the cast time as possible, and nuke. This was the strat our group used, and we got it on our 2nd attempt in 17s.
    2. Controlled burn. This method revolves around timing the casts (every 5s) and interrupting them, preferably with a shammy specced into Reverberation (whose interrupt is on a 5s CD). This method works in theory, but lag/randomness/other factors seem to pop up regularly to throw off the timing, causing the interrupt to go off right before the cast starts, etc. Still workable, but I recommend the first strategy.
  • [What the Eck?]
    Defeat Gal’darah in Gundrak on Heroic Difficulty while under the effects of Eck Residue.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Kill Eck. Don’t die. Kill Gal’darah.
  • [Share The Love]
    Defeat Gal’darah in Gundrak on Heroic Difficulty and have 5 unique party members get impaled throughout the fight.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: 2nd tank
    Not hard, just requires a 2nd tank. Gal’darah will randomly impale 2 people during every rhino phase, but never the tank, so have the OT taunt Gal’darah once he’s been impaled, and wait until everyone gets it, then kill.   

That’s it! Enjoy your Red Proto-Drake. If you manage to pull off Less-Rabi, consider adding a few more people and having a go at zerging Sarth 3D; the DPS requirements are fairly comparable. Have fun!

Oct 192009

Interested in bagging a Red Proto-Drake? Want that achievement that everyone’s (ok, not really) talking about? You’re in the right place. This guide will cover all the strategies for those pesky heroic achievements, so you never have to run them again (except for the emblem daily…or guildies…or alts…aggh!) This guide goes roughly in achievement difficulty order, so we’ll cover the easier instances today: UK/UP, VH, HOS/HOL, CoS, DTK, and Nexus. Come back in a couple days for Part 2, where we’ll cover strategies for the harder ones in a bit more detail. (And yes, bear guide part 3 is still coming, got sidetracked by this project.)

Utgarde Keep

  • [On The Rocks]
    Defeat Prince Keleseth in Utgarde Keep on Heroic Difficulty without shattering any Frost Tombs.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    You may already have this achievement by accident, it’s that easy. Just burn the boss and let people come out of tombs on their own.

Utgarde Pinnacle

  • [The Incredible Hulk]
    Force Svala Sorrowgrave to kill a Scourge Hulk on Heroic Difficulty in Utgarde Pinnacle.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    While Svala is being Chatty Cathy, have the tank grab the Scourge Hulk from the tunnel to her right (there’s a second one in the back of the room if you stuff up) and DPS it down to less than 9k health (make sure not to kill it though). Treat the boss like normal and during the sacrifice portion of the fight, ignore the adds and let your tank drag the Hulk to where he will be hit by the sword.
  • [Lodi Dodi We Loves the Skadi]
    Defeat Skadi the Ruthless in Utgarde Pinnacle on Heroic Difficulty within 3 minutes of starting the gauntlet event.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    First, have your group gather 6 harpoons (2 for three people). Start the gauntlet, sit at the entrance, and kill the mobs as they run to you. A harpooner spawns every other wave so you’ll have to kill 12 waves (this is the boring part). Not difficult as long as you don’t fall asleep and stand in the frost breath. Once you have 6 harpoons, have everyone run into the previous room to despawn the gauntlet. Once despawned, have everyone run up to the harpoons, send one person back to trigger the event, and on the first pass, havev the DPS fire all their harpoons to bring Skadi down. Kill as normal. This will also get you the next achievement, [My Girl Loves to Skadi All the Time]. Note: I’m not a fan of using “tricks” or “exploits” for achievements since they usually get fixed quickly…but I don’t see another way to do these two achievements.
  • [My Girl Loves to Skadi All the Time]
    Defeat Skadi the Ruthless in Utgarde Pinnacle on Heroic Difficulty after having killed Grauf from 100% to dead in a single pass.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    See above, same strategy.
  • [King’s Bane]
    Defeat King Ymiron in Utgarde Pinnacle on Heroic Difficulty without anyone in the party triggering Bane.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Ymiron will cast Bane every 20s, but the timer resets every time he runs to a boat (which happens at every 20% of his life; 80%, 60%, etc.) He only has 566k HP in heroic, which means you only need about 6k party DPS.  3 halfway-competent DPS should be able to manage that, no problems, so you probably have this one already.

The Violet Hold

  • [Defenseless]
    Defeat Cyanigosa in The Violet Hold without using Defense Control Crystals and with Prison Seal Integrity at 100% while in Heroic Difficulty.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Most people don’t even know about the crystals, so you’ll usually get this on your first or second VH run.
  • [Lockdown!]
    Defeat Xevozz, Lavanthor, Ichoron, Zuramat the Obliterator, Erekem, and Moragg in The Violet Hold on Heroic Difficulty.
    Challenge: RNG
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Luck and patience…that’s it for this one.
  • [Dehydration]
    Defeat Ichoron in the Violet Hold on Heroic Difficulty without allowing any Ichor Globules to merge.
    Challenge: Easy + RNG
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    If you see Ichoron get selected, tell your DPS to go click a crystal after each knockback. Crystal kills the globules instantly. 
  • [A Void Dance]
    Defeat Zuramat the Obliterator in The Violet Hold without killing any void sentries.
    Challenge: Moderate + RNG
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Pure DPS race, needs a decent healer and DPS to keep up with the damage.

Halls of Stone

  • [Good Grief]
    Defeat the Maiden of Grief in the Halls of Stone on Heroic Difficulty in 1 minute or less.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Kill boss, collect achievement. A good 3-man group could beat this timer.
  • [Brann Spankin’ New]
    Defeat the Tribunal of Ages encounter in the Halls of Stone on Heroic Difficulty without allowing Brann Bronzebeard to take any damage.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Totally based on your tank’s skill at using their AoE ability every CD to grab every mob. Maybe slightly challenging for warriors.
  • [Abuse the Ooze]
    Defeat Sjonnir the Ironshaper in the Halls of Stone on Heroic Difficulty and kill 5 Iron Sludges during the encounter.
    Challenge: Moderate
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Ah, an actual strategy is required here! Tank Sjonnir at the door, put the healer behind him in the pathway to the center area, and the DPS in the center area. DPS kills adds and burns Sjonnir to under 50%, then stops DPS. At <50% DPS, Oozes will start spawning every few seconds from the platforms on both sides and moving towards the center. When they reach the center, they’ll look for another Ooze; 2 Oozes will combine to make an Iron Sludge, which does a nasty AOE poison volley. The safer-but-slower strategy is to assign one DPS to kill all oozes coming from one side; this increases Sludge creation time significantly. Kill 5 Sludges, burn the boss down, and you’ve got it.

Halls of Lightning

  • [Lightning Shock]
    Defeat General Bjarngrim in the Halls of Lightning on Heroic Difficulty while he has a Temporary Electrical Charge.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Pull Volkhan while he’s charged (he changes every platform) He just hits a bit harder than usual, still a joke to a reasonably geared group.
  • [Shatter Resistant]
    Defeat Volkhan in the Halls of Lightning on Heroic Difficulty without allowing him to shatter more than 4 Brittle Golems.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Pull boss, have tank off-tank golems, collect achievement.
  • [Timely Death]
    Defeat Loken in the Halls of Lightning on Heroic Difficulty in 2 minutes or less.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Staying alive is the challenge, not DPS. This was probably the boss that caused the most wipes in 3.0, as healers in blues simply got overwhelmed by damage. If the healer can keep everyone alive, you’ll get this easily.

The Culling of Stratholme

  • [The Culling of Time]
    Defeat the Infinite Corruptor in The Culling of Stratholme on Heroic Difficulty.
    Challenge: Moderate
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    The famous “drake run.” Not much in the way of special strategy involved here; the Infinite Corruptor despawns 25 minutes after the first pack of enemies come in, so you have to have an all-around good group which can move quickly.
  • [Zombiefest!]
    Kill 100 Risen Zombies in 1 minute in The Culling of Stratholme on Heroic Difficulty.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No, but having two tanks makes it easier
    Not difficult, but requires some precise tactics.
    1. Kill the first waves, Meathook, and the second waves as normal.
    2. Have the tank kite the second boss into the inn, with party following.
    3. Hold the second boss(Salramm) in the inn for about two minutes, while all the zombies in the streets outside respawn.
    4. Kill the second boss.
    5. Wait for Arthas to arrive outside the inn; step out and talk to him, taking care to not pull the zombies outside. Follow him and kill boss 3(Chrono-Lord) as normal; talk to Arthas to have him open the bookcase and the path leading to the last street.
    6. Have either a 2nd tank or a good DPS’er run back through the streets to pull  as many zombies as possible(without killing any). Take off damage reflecting abilities, like Thorns, Ret Aura, etc. There are 85 total in the first streets. The rest of the party waits in the back street near Arthas.
    7. Once the puller gets back to the party, kill the 85, then kill 15 more on the back street in a minute (easy). Ding!

Drak’Tharon Keep

  • [Consumption Junction]
    Defeat Trollgore in Drak’Tharon Keep on Heroic Difficulty before Consume reaches ten stacks.
    Challenge: Moderate
    Special Group Composition Needed: No (shammy helps)
    After being pulled, Trollgore casts Consume on himself  every 15s. This buff gains one stack for every target (either player or enemy) in his line-of-sight. This may or may not count for things like pets, treants, etc; it’s best to not use those abilities, just to be safe. There are two possible strategies for this, depending on your party’s DPS.
    1. Quick burn (good DPS group)- Have the tank pick up the boss and position him in such a manner where the healer is in LOS to the tank but not the boss. (The entrance tunnel, the archway to the right of the stairs, or the corners besides the stair are all good places.) One DPS runs up the stairs, out of LOS of Trollgore, and burns down adds as they spawn. This means Trollgore will only have 3 players in LOS (tank and two DPS). This gives you a minute to burn him down, which requires about ~7500 DPS divided between the three characters on the boss.
    2. Coordinated burn- Same as above, but the DPS must run out of LOS when Consume is cast. Since it’s on a regular 15s timer, this isn’t too difficult; just stay out of LOS while you wait for the first cast; once it’s cast, pop in, DPS for 10s, pop out, wait for cast, etc. This gives you plenty of time, but requires good observation skills. Macro:
    /rw Consume cast, in for 10s!
    /in 10 /rw OUT OF LOS NOW!
  • [Oh Novos!]
    Defeat Novos the Summoner in Drak’Tharon Keep on Heroic Difficulty without allowing any undead minions to reach the floor.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Easiest GotH achievement. I’ve run DTK 10+ times with pugs, and I’ve NEVER seen an undead reach the floor, even in a horrible group.
  • [Better Off Dred]
    Engage King Dred in Drak’Tharon Keep on Heroic Difficulty and slay 6 Drakkari Gutrippers or Drakkari Scytheclaw during his defeat.
    Challenge:  Moderate
    Special Group Composition Needed: No, but a 2nd tank or healer helps for undergeared groups
    Wait for Dred to path to the back of his enclosure, pull 2-3 of the small dinos, AOE them down to about 10%, then pull Dred and quickly finish the adds. Then send a DPS to pull the last ones singly (or just wait…Dred will call them in singly every so often). Once six are killed, kill Dred. It’s a bit challenging for undergeared groups since the bleeds from Dred and the adds stack, so having a 2nd healer (or a 2nd tank for the adds) can help.

The Nexus

  • [Split Personality]
    Defeat Grand Magus Telestra in The Nexus on Heroic Difficulty after having killed her images within 5 seconds of each other during both splits.
    Challenge: Moderate/Hard
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    This achievement just requires good group coordination. Assign each DPS to one image (or better, one mark, and have the tank mark them up when they split). Have the DPS burn each image to 20%, then stop DPS. Once all three are at 20%, the tank calls for AOE, and they are quickly AOE’d down. If they are too spread out for effective AOE, the tank calls out re-engage, and each DPS kills its target as fast as it can, then helps others if needed. It’s best to put a class that can interrupt on the frost image, since due to a bug, the frost image will not die while it is casting blizzard (unless interrupted). Do this 2x.
  • [Chaos Theory]
    Defeat Anomalus in The Nexus on Heroic Difficulty without destroying any Chaotic Rifts.
    Challenge: Moderate/Hard
    Special Group Composition Needed: A full melee DPS group is very difficult; a mage makes this achievement much easier (Dampen Magic)
    This achievement has several things to consider.
    – The rifts spam a low-damage chain lightning on the closest player to them, which chains to other players within 15 yards.
    – At 75%, 50%, and 25%, Anom goes immune to all damage for 30s, stops moving, and charges the rifts he is nearby to do more damage.
    –  The rifts spawn wraiths, which do a low-damage Arcane Missiles on their agro target.
    Essentially, the tank needs to stay 15 yards away from the rest of the party, and closer to the rifts then the party, at almost all times. Here’s the strat (clear all trash first, even the packs you don’t usually clear):
    1. Have the tank grab Anom where he stands(upper round platform), with the healer/ranged dps at the back of the platform. Burn him to 75%.
    2. Once he goes immune, have the tank move to the center of the lower round platform, with the melee/healer/ranged dps moving to the back of the lower platform. Tank picks up wraiths, ranged DPS knocks them down, melee stays put.
    3. Once Anom goes unimmune, he’ll agro on the tank. All DPS quickly burn him to 50%, then repeat part 2, with tank moving to the bottom of the ramp leading to lower platform, and ranged/melee/healer jumping off the back of the lower platform and moving to back edge of that section. Kill wraiths.
    4. Same thing again; once Anom is at 25%, tank moves to spot where healer/ranged group was standing, all others move to keep the same spacing; kill ton of wraiths, finish Anom.
    5. If you’re stuck with a full melee group that really wants the achievement, you can kite Anom pretty much anywhere in the instance, so try the whole thing on the run.
  • [Intense Cold]
    Defeat Keristrasza in The Nexus on Heroic Difficulty without allowing Intense Cold to reach more than two stacks.
    Challenge: Easy/Moderate, depending on class
    Special Group Composition Needed: No, but a dispeller can help out for certain classes.
    (Note: This is an individual achievement.)
    Intense Cold is a debuff that stacks on you once every second; however, moving/jumping clears it. The difficulty is dealing with Crystal Chains, which snares you; use whatever ability you have that breaks snares (mages can blink, locks can port, druids can shapeshift, etc.) If you’re having trouble, grab a PvP trinket/Free Action Potion for additional breaks. If you’re REALLY having trouble, bribe a class with a dispel (pally/priest/shaman) to dispel you first, every time it hits.

Link to part 2 here.