Here it is, my first complete heroic tanking guide in eight months. I have some brewmaster-specific advice, but most of it is about taunting strategy. Also, for the first time since Ragnaros, this is a narrated tanking guide.
I’m told the sound is incredibly low, though I can still hear it so it can’t be too bad. (Of course my volume is usually pretty high in the first place, and I know what I’m saying so it’s easy for me to know what’s going on.) I got a new mic since my last narrated boss guide and that introduced some sound issues. I don’t know much about sound manipulation, but I learned how to use video software so I can probably learn how to use voice recording software too.
Differences between Normal and Heroic
Not many differences for us tanks to worry about, except the damage is higher and if a dog of the wrong color explodes about 80% of your raid will instantly die (I survived some because I’m a beast I guess?) Taunts need to be very fast. I believe the dogs’ energy rises faster too.
The beginning of the pull is the most important part. If one of my two dogs (I always start out with two) gets the debuff (which is what happens in the video), my co-tank taunts the debuffed dog when it reaches 50 energy. This is to offset the energy gains so no dogs reach 100 at the same time.
If the debuff should initially land on my co-tank’s single dog, she would have immediately taunted either one of my dogs. Then we’d wait until the debuffed dog got to 50 energy, and then I would taunt it.
After the initial pull, the only tank who needs to worry about taunting is the person holding a single dog. Should that single dog get the debuff, that tank needs to immediately taunt the dog that exploded most recently (because that dog will always have the lowest energy). Should one of the dogs with a partner get the debuff, nothing needs to be done.
Taunts need to be lightning fast. If I had the single dog, I actually stopped attacking my target a few seconds after an explosion and targeted the dog that just exploded, waiting for the debuff to go out. If the debuff went to my dog I could taunt incredibly fast. You’ll obviously take more damage this way, but you absolutely cannot have slow taunts because that risks unnecessary energy gain on dogs that aren’t putting out that damage reduction debuff.
Targeting macros are useful, but be careful with them. I would recommend not using a macro that includes taunt. Should your intended target be out of range at the time, or should the targeting fail, you risk wasting your taunt on something else and losing 8 seconds. Instead, just use simple targeting macros like “/tar Jade”.
Also, remember to stay within taunting range of the other tank.
I don’t mention this in the video, but we only taunt one dog across the room at the time. I find the strategy is easier this way, and it also eliminates any excess energy the dogs would have gained passing each other and reduces chances of taunting failure. You can always try to taunt two dogs across the room and tell me how it goes, if you want.
Things Tanks need to worry about
- Damage reduction
- Avoiding bad things on the ground.
As a tank, you’ll never be inflicted with targeted debuffs like chains. You have enough going on as is.
This is a very high damage fight. Tanks will almost always have the bleed debuff up and it hits hard. You can only have one stack of the debuff, so it doesn’t deal more damage when two dogs are hitting you. However, you’ll still take more melee damage when tanking two dogs.
This is also a three heal fight, so you’re taking a ton of damage but your healers are usually capable of healing it up. Your job is to reduce burst damage and react to bad situations. Pick talents/glyphs that help reduce unpredictable burst. Use avoidance when you have two dogs, though obviously avoidance is useful even with one dog.
If you have any tools that can reduces physical DoTs (like that paladin talent), that’s great for this fight.
Your stagger will almost always be yellow for this fight, and you’ll quickly learn you’re not capable of purifying it all the time. When it reached 25k or more, it was a high priority to purify, but below that I would only purify if I had extra Chi.
Save Elusive Brew for when you have two dogs (unless you have close to 15 stacks and the transition won’t happen for a while). It’s especially useful for right as you taunt your second dog, since that’s when healers have the hardest time adjusting. Guard is also good for that point, though it’s also wise to save it for when your health dips low.
Unfortunately, neither Dampen Harm or Diffuse Magic are really great for this fight. I used Dampen Harm to help with burst, but sometimes the dogs didn’t even consume all the charges before the buff fell off. Glyph of Stoneskin is useful in a minor way, but not required.