Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dire Bear Form versus Nalorakk

Are you ready to Ruuuummmmmmbbbbllllleeeeeee??????

The first boss encounter in Zul'aman is generally considered to be Nalorakk. He's the Amani Bear lord and has two different aspects; his normal form and his bear form.

His normal form does a mangle which causes 100% additional damage from bleeds, a surge (similar to Attumen), and a brutal swipe which causes 14k damage split by up to 2 targets. This makes it imperative that both tanks remain in front to split the damage.

His Bear form does a Lacerating Slash which causes a bleed of 1735 every 2 seconds, a Rend Flesh which bleeds 2335 every 1 second, and a Deafening Roar which deals 1200-1400 damage and silences everyone for 2 seconds.

Since the normal form applies a mangle and the bear form does bleed damage, it is required that two people tank this boss and each one take a different form. So, I guess, really, I should title this Dire Bear Form and Warrior versus Nalorakk...but, well, that's too long and ruins the Bear on Bear action that the title implies...unless it's two Druids tanking and then that would be a Bear threesome... o.O

Anyway, either aspect is tankable by a Druid. However, if you don't have a huge health base (17k+ buffed) or you have a weak healer or two in the group and no Resto Druid for HoTs then you're better off tanking the normal aspect.

I've had the pleasure of tanking Nalorakk three times for our guild. The first time, I was responsible for tanking his Bear aspect while our guild leader tanked the normal aspect. Other than my untimely disconnect on the first try, it went well and we downed him on the second attempt. (I wrote about that in a previous post.)

However, on our second venture to Zul' Aman, with the same two tanks, we had difficulties. We kept wiping around the 60 or 40% point during a silence. Our previous run, we had a Druid, Pally, and Shaman healing. All three were well geared and good at their jobs. However, on our second venture, we had 2 pallies and 1 shaman...again, good and well geared (the new pally was probably a bit undergeared tho)...I think the key was having a resto Druid and those awesome HoTs to keep me alive during their silence while those mega bleeds ticked away. After several wipes, our tank had to go so he brought in one of the tanks from the guild we recently absorbed. The new tank suggested we switch aspects and it went very smooth after that...it also helped that the new tank had a tonne of health and could take a beating.

Our third time, I tanked the normal aspect again (what happened to all our resto Druids? We had 3) and after a few wipes we eventually downed him. However, on these various attempts, I did learn a few things to make sure the fight went as smoothly as possible.

Tanking Nalorakk is, for the most part, tank and spank. You also want to make sure both of the tanks are in front, especially when he's in his normal form so the Brutal Swipe is divided between them...all other melee DPS should be behind him.

However, the key to this fight is taunting. When Nalorakk changes forms, the other tank needs to taunt him to take over. It's very helpful to have a mod that alerts you when the change is about to happen. The mod I have gives me a 5 second warning. When I see the warning pop up, I stop using any abilities and begin mentally counting down so I can time my taunt with the change. The main reason I stop using abilities is I don't want to be in the midst of a global cooldown from an attack when I need to taunt. That one second delay can be disastrous. Also, that five seconds of no special attacks will allow your rage to accumulate which will enable you to immediately build as much threat as possible after you've taunted as you want to make sure you keep aggro. After you taunt, the alternate tank will still be very close to your threat level. As both tanks as switching back and forth and staying within a couple percent of each other on threat, it's also a good idea that when the other tank taunts and takes aggro, you stop attacking to let him have a chance to leap ahead on threat.

After I start my 5 second count down, I hit my taunt right as he's changing forms. It's important to watch for those funny exclamation signs as there is that odd chance that Nalorakk will resist your taunt. In the three runs (several fights each run), this has happened to me twice. (Clearly, I need more +hit!) The first time proved disastrous as he stayed on our Warrior and he got both the bleeds along with the Mangle. He didn't last long. However, the second time this happened, I was ready...I had my little mouse hovered over my Challenging Roar and clicked that when I didn't see my taunt land. This is our 'back up' on this fight. Always be ready to use this ability if you see that your basic taunt, Growl, is resisted. As soon as you have Nalorakk's undivided attention, lay in with Mangles, Lacerates, and Mauls...also, don't forget about Faerie Fire and Demoralizing Roar.

Again, with the exception of taunting your aspect as soon as possible, the fight is tank and spank. When the other tank is tanking his aspect, you can pop out of form to Innervate. If you've been tanking his normal aspect and need to pop out while he's in bear form to Innervate a healer, beware of the Deafening Roar which will Silence you. If you were tanking the Bear form and pop out to Innervate during his normal aspect, first wait until your bleeds have ticked off and try to time it after a Brutal Swipe. You shouldn't need to combat rez in this fight because if anyone bites the dust it will be one of the tanks. If your other tank does meet his demise, just run down to the stairs and the event will reset and you can avoid a wipe.

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