Sunday was our guild's Gruul night and although it seemed we got off to a rough start (a couple of wipes on the High King) we did pull ourselves together and get the High King down. Gruul was a different story, though. This time, the gates stayed open for us, but we seemed to keep wiping around the 40% range. After assessment, it was determined that our DPS was lacking (a few of our high DPS players were not in attendence), but we still gave him our best several times while working on our positioning and coordination.
Even though we have yet to down Gruul, I thought I'd write about my role in Gruul's Lair since I've been contemplating it and how to improve. I haven't been to Gruul's enough to give full detail on all Feral activities (Kitty) within this instance, so I'll be focusing on the Bear's role on trash and only tanking Kiggler the Crazed and Off-Tanking Gruul.
The trash mobs are Lair Brutes and Gronn-Priests. We typically have our Warriors tank them and have our Druids in Bear form hanging back with the healers and ranged DPS. Every so often, the Lair Brutes will charge into the group, wiping agro, and it's our job to pick them up and escort them back to the tanks.
When the pull is announced, I pop into Bear form and hit my Enrage ability. While I'm waiting for my rage to build up and the Brute to charge in, I target each mob and apply Feral Faerie Fire to pass the time. Once the Brute charges, I get within range (they are usually too close to Feral Charge however, if I can, I use it), Growl, slap a Mangle on them, and spam my Lacerate. This usually assures that I have the target and I begin walking him back to the tank area. While escorting my fella, I continue to apply Mangle when the cooldown is up as well as Lacerate and the odd Maul. As I'm pulling him back to the tank area, I keep a close eye on my Target of Target and as soon as I see the tank pop up, I stop attacking. It's very important that you let the tank have his mob back as it's your job to be back protecting the rest of the raid. It's also critical to keep an eye on your rage as well as the threat meters as you must maintain agro until you can pass them off to the tank while still maintaining enough rage to pick up the next mob that charges. Rinse and repeat until all the mobs are dead.
Along with the static trash mobs there are also patrols. While picking up any brutes that charge, also keep an eye on the patrols and if one agros, secure it and tank it in the tank area until one of the tanks are free to take him, then go back to your assigned job.
The only other thing to note about the trash mobs is that the Gronn-Priests do heal themselves as well as the other mobs. When possible, keep them out of line of site of the other trash and/or have a Warrior or Rogue interrupt the heals.
Kiggler the Crazed
Every time I've been to Gruuls, it's been my job to tank Kiggler the Crazed. Since he has a tendency to polymorph his primary target, a shapeshifted Druid is optimal for this task. Our guild has me tank him pretty much where he stands prior to the pull and if we have enough Hunters in the raid, I'll get a Misdirect, but whether or not I have one, I still pull with the same strategy.
We start with our mage, who tanks Krosh Firehand, counting down from 10, 1 being timed when his spell fires. When he begins his countdown, I shift to Bear and Enrage. At 1, I Feral Charge, Mangle, spam Lacerate, etc. Sometimes Kiggler is still on the run, though, and after my charge is complete, he's still out of range, on those occasions, I Feral Faerie Fire as I run to catch up, then apply Mangle, Lacerate, Maul as I drag him to the tanking area. Once I have him in position with my back against the wall, it's pretty much tank and spank. Every so often, he will do an Arcane Explosion AoE which will knock you back as well as lower your threat. Most strategies advise running out to avoid this, however I've always stayed in and the one shaman healer assigned to me has never had a problem keeping my health up, but he is one of our best healers. When Kiggler does do his Arcane explosion, knocking you back, he runs off. At this point, it's a simple matter of charging to him, picking him back up again, and dragging him back into position. Always make sure you have at least 10 rage available for this charge.
I'd also like to note that we had a new mage doing the pull on Krosh last night and he counted down from 3, which left no time for an Enrage. Even though I didn't have a Misdirect, it was simple enough to make adjustments and still pick him up with limited rage. I played with two strategies with equal success. Strategy #1 was run in while firing Feral Faerie Fire to get his initial attention, then proceed with the usual Mangle, Lacerate, odd Maul routine. This worked fairly well. Strategy #2 was to Feral Charge in then Feral Faerie Fire, by the time the global cooldown was up on the Faerie Fire, I had plenty of rage to do my attack routine. Once his attention is properly secured, drag him to the tank postion and continue as above in the 10 to 1 countdown strat.
High King Maulgar
After Kiggler the Crazed has expired, the only mob left should be the High King. Even though I named this post Bearing Gruul's Lair, I go into Kitty form here and do my best to help DPS him down even though I'm still in my Bear clothes...except for my weapon, thank goodness they let you switch those in combat. The only thing to be aware of here is every once in a while he does his traveling sit spin (Whirlwind) attack. Stay well away from that and you should be good. By this point, it shouldn't take long to down him.
Use the strategy above. The trash right in front of Gruul's gate did require me tanking one of the priest. Be sure to keep priest out of line of sight as well as have someone interrupt their heals.
Make sure you know your tanking position prior to engaging. Typically, I always off tank at the 10 o'clock position. If you're using the Pie Slice, sometimes called Pizza Slice, strategy, ensure that your group is in your same pie slice so your healers can reach you.
When the main tank charges in, I follow behind. Typically, he'll have a Misdirect, so I don't need to worry about passing him on the threat meters...although I always keep an eye on them, just in case. The off tank job isn't too difficult, I make sure my threat is under the main tanks and over the DPS. Every once in a while, I'll get knocked around. At this time, I Feral Charge back in to Gruul. It's imperative to get back immediately otherwise, the highest melee DPS on the meters will be killed. So, considering this, I always make sure I have, at minimum, 10 rage for my charge. The only time this is a problem is in the very beginning of the fight when I'm working to gain a sufficient lead on DPS. After the knockback, charge in, and do your best to get back into position as quickly as possible.
That's pretty much it for how I do my job(s) when our guild does Gruuls Liar. I'm sure there are a million and 1 strategies out there, and I'm always open for input.