Tips for tankadins in the Arcane Sanctum

With all the excitement in my personal life lately, I’d almost forgotten to put this up.  Better late than never, I guess…

Kor’kron Dark Shaman 2.0 Tectus

I had Dark Shaman easy — we had the roster to run with three tanks — and it’s on this fight that I understand people’s pain who had to do it with two.  This fight is just as chaotic as Dark Shaman, arguably even more so when your raid kills the first Shard and has to deal with the second Shard and four Motes all at the same time.  You may have had it easy in the previous wing but, oh boy, this fight sure makes up for that.

You’ll want to pick a loadout that can handle that phase of the fight.  Light’s Hammer works great for picking up all the Motes (and keeping yourself alive while doing so), Holy Avenger will shave off a decent chunk of damage, and, as the damage is physical, glyph Divine Protection.  Final Wrath is also nice for helping to get the Motes dead once they’re in execute range.  Finally, talent Clemency; this allows you to throw Hand of Protection on your raid members running around like lunatics while being chased by Crystalline Barrage and gives them a degree of freedom to stop being lunatics and actually DPS or heal.

The start of the fight is simple enough.  One tank will pick up Tectus, and the other tank will handle the Night-Twisted Earthwarpers (aka Left 4 Dead hunters) that regularly spawn in.  The Tectus tank just needs to spank it, while the add tank will need to face his quarry away from the rest of the raid, and soak the Gift of Earth void zones.  (I must admit that I’ve actually never seen these void zones: either my co-tank is really excellent at handling them, or my colour-blindness is worse than I believe.)  Be careful not to run into any Crystalline Barrage clouds left behind by the melee, and don’t stand in the Fracture void zones.  Don’t stand in the Earthen Pillar zones either, but as these target ranged, this should never be an issue.  At least, not yet.

Once Tectus is dispatched, he splits into two Shards of Tectus.  The adds stop spawning from this point, so have a tank take one Shard each.  Your raid will be focusing down one of them and generally leaving the other alone to reduce how frequently it throws a tantrum and sends the healers into flat panic.  We tank them together so that incidental cleave damage manages the Accretion stacks to a degree.

Then, your raid will kill the Shard of Tectus, and four Motes will spawn.  This is the part when difficulty and chaotic nature ramps up to Torment VI…

You’ll be frantically trying to tank the remaining Shard and the four Motes together, as evenly split between both tanks at the same time, while most likely marking one Mote on your raid leader’s behalf for DPS to kill, and dealing with five sets of boss abilities at once.  Be particularly careful of the Crystalline Barrage clouds, as they’ll be all over the place if you don’t have enough Hands of Protection and they aren’t exactly the easiest things to see.  At the same time, you’ll be running out of all of the Fracture void zones, and there’s a very real possibility of either running into an Earthen Pillar spike or having having said spikes cut you off from your healers.  The only bit of advice that really works here is Keep Calm and Don’t Panic (Too Much).

Once the Motes are down, you have a bit of breathing space while the raid brings the second Shard down.  Then it’s time for four more Motes, which aren’t as bad as the previous occasion since you won’t have a Shard up as well.  Eventually, with a bit of perseverance, they’ll die, Tectus will respawn purely to go through his death animation, and you can loot your shinies and move on.

Twin Ogron

Thankfully, the next fight is far more simpler from a tanking perspective.  Simple enough that I’ll just rattle off the most important points:

Honestly, that’s about it.  The fight is a personal responsibility test for everyone else but a bit bland for tanks, which, from our perspective, is somewhat of a disappointment.

Ko’ragh

The boss itself isn’t too bad for tanks — swap on Expel Magic: Arcane and run around outside the raid like a madman until it drops off, spread out 5 yards from your co-tank and the melee when Expel Magic: Fire comes in, and drag the boss away from Suppression Fields and the frost orbs.  That bit is pretty straight forward and I’m not going to go into any significant detail for that.

The tricky part, I’ve found, is picking up and placing all of the adds when Ko’ragh recharges his Nullification Barrier.  They spawn in waves, and all over the place, making it a generally tricky proposition for both tanks to pick them all up.  Thankfully, we have two tools in our arsenal that, if used well, makes this task significantly easier: a mass stun (courtesy of glyphing Holy Wrath) and healing aggro.

Once Ko’ragh begins his Nullification Barrier recharge, position yourself between the boss and a Suppression Field, picking up one (or maybe two) adds along the way.  Once you’re in position, stand still and drop Light’s Hammer underneath your feet.  If you can persuade your DPS to leave the adds alone for this bit, you’ll find that the healing aggro from Light’s Hammer will direct the second wave of adds straight to you.  It’s even easier if your ranged DPS line themselves up behind you on the opposite side of the Suppression Field, causing them to run through your Light’s Hammer en route to them.  Of course, it’s easier still if you run Eternal Flame and get some decent extra healing aggro from that.

If this goes well, you’ll have a decently-sized clump of adds beating down on you.  At this point, pop your glyphed Holy Wrath and then, while the adds are briefly stunned, pop Speed of Light and get yourself over to the far end of the Suppression Field you positioned yourself near earlier (and please go around it, not through it!).  If done correctly, by the time the stun wears off, the adds will need to cross the Suppression Field to get to you, and this will be the cue for your ranged DPS to take them out.  They probably won’t be able to do it before they catch back up to you though, so make sure that you position yourself right at the edge of the Suppression Field, so that you’re outside the Suppression Field but can still keep the adds inside.  Use a glyped Divine Protection and/or Holy Avenger to reduce the impact of those slobbering, mangy, stupid adds on your health bar and your healers’ mana.

It goes without saying that, with all of the adds on you, get your co-tank to pick Ko’ragh up as soon as he becomes attackable again.  By the time the next tank debuff comes in, the adds should have been taken out (don’t concern yourself about it if there’s one or two stragglers still up, the damage from a couple of them dying outside the Suppression Field is manageable), and you can get on with it.

Once you’ve mastered this, you’ll be fine.  Ko’ragh will keel over soon enough, freeing yourself up for Imperator Mar’gok.  I’ll be dealing with this boss in the final installment (once I’m back home from holiday) — he’s a multi-phase monstrosity and needs his own post to do him justice.  As always,  please let me know if I’ve missed out any good tips!

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