Last night, for a brief time, I was in the new instance (I hear that’s the official name for it, btw) doing some tanky stuffs, and on the Champions encounter Alliance side, we got the Troll Hunter, Undead Rogue and Blood Elf Mage.

Shazbot!

This turned into a surprisingly difficult enounter.

Hmm, our group makeup was myself as Bear Tank, Jardal as Tree Healer, Kaelynn the Rogue, Wetfoot the Hunter, and Mackaela the Draenei Warrior.

The three Champions lined themselves up Hunter to the left, Rogue in the middle, Mage to the right.

Yes, we wiped on the transition, the fact that sometimes the last mounted Champion does NOT actually get dismounted before the melee phase begins throws me every time… in this case, I was already dismounted and looking for a new mount when suddenly the melee phase began with two team deaths. Since I was already on foot, I didn’t get the normal “hey, I’m hitting the ground, the melee phase must be starting” clue. Instead, I realised it when there were no more mounts to be had… and two people were suddenly dead. Grrr.

Anyway, so yes, the three Champions were lined up nicely, awaiting our pleasure.

It really was an interesting learning experience.

I’ve done this with a single tank and healer, and with a single tank and two healers. I have found dual healers makes things go nice and smooth, even if it takes a bit longer than normal.

This time, it felt like we hit a wall early on.

The challenge, of course, is dragging both ranged people into threat generating range while staying on top of the Rogue… and trying to get the melee DPS out of the AoE poison puddles.

The Mage does knockback, throwing you around, and the Hunter will toss himself back out of melee range and does a Multishot that hits for around 10k on cloth/leather wearers.

We tried the standard “charge in” method first… poison puddles and Multishot just got us down too fast.

Next we tried the “pull from extreme distance” technique, tossing a Feral Faerie Fire at the Rogue and backing away, making the ranged run forward and huddle closer together, then charge them and take them as a group once all were in threat generation range.

Again, poison puddles and Multishot simultaneously. The health of the group just plummeted like a stone each time while we tried to work things out.

I don’t mind saying, it started getting frustrating.

Then Kaelynn suggested an alternative approach. She said she’d done it using two tanks before.

Well, Mack has a tanking spec, and can try Spell Reflecting on Mages, so we decided to give that a try.

I moved to the far left side of the chamber, to Feral Charge the Hunter from the flank. Mackaela was ready to come in on the Mage’s side.

The idea was, I’d charge the Hunter and pull the Rogue, and tank them both off on the Hunter’s side, concentrate on the Hunter and follow him when necessary, and trust my Maul and Swipe to keep the Rogue in line.

Mack and the rest of the group would burn down the Mage.

We acted on that plan, and yes the Rogue throws the AoE poison puddle on an individual he chooses, so the Mage group did have one to deal with… but for the most part, the Hunter and Rogue stayed on me, the rest of the team was left alone… and the Mage kept attacking me with her big lightning affect, leaving the party alone.

Mage went down hard, followed by the Hunter and Rogue, we had no deaths, health stayed nice and steady for everyone, no issues at all.

It was a piece of cake. Although I have heard some like pie.

I love that kind of thing. I LOVE a situation where you can work with what you know, what you suspect, and come up with a battle plan that is different from the norm, and end up kicking butt.

This instance is turning into one where HOW you do it will change drastically based on WHO you happen to have in the group.

Instead of “We need one tank, one healer, three DPS, good to go”, the group composition can change, and make full use of the varied talents of multi-specced folks.

And not just Hybrids, either. The call went out asking if Wetfoot had Silencing Shot, we were looking into alternatives like Ice Trapping the Hunter, and Kaelynn was interrupting like a madwoman.

Really, congrats to Blizzard. The more I get to know the instance, the more I appreciate the way it puts the challenge on the players to not give up, and find a new way to get things done using all the tools at our disposal.

I still dearly want to get my Hunter in there for a shot at that new Gun, damnit.

26 Responses to “The new instance be shaking things up, mon!”
  1. Karel says:

    I have been running the normal loads (17x) on my feral druid trying to get the +126 trinket, (still hasnt dropped once!). But somehow the transition from mounted to the 3 of them running around I never have enough time to get aggro on them. I allways lose 1-3 dpsers. Not a real big issue as we always get them down anyhow. But I am so frustrated I see them die, somehow I just cannot generate enough threat fast enough on them. Shifting in bear, equiping mainweapon and then taunt, Feary Fire, Pyro Rocket, its allway to late.

    The 3 of them all over the place and me running around trying to get enough threat… Pain in the ass

  2. Neil says:

    Even a DPS platewearer in a DPS spec, or a Feral DPS Druid who pops Bear Form, can serve as a viable OT in that fight. It can /really/ simplify it. When I’m not lucky enough to be running with our guild’s Paladin MT (a master of multi-target tanking), I generally end up going Bear for that fight to keep it nice and smooth.

    Glad you’re enjoying the Trial of the Champion! Good luck with your gun!

  3. Kayeri says:

    Even the achievement modes can give you different challenges and different strategies…. the most fun we had was working out the strategy to down the Four Horsemen in Naxx on the 8-man achievement…. It was awesome, took 3-4 tries as I recall, but we ended up splitting fairly equally, then dragging Korth’azz and Rivendare back to Blameaux and Zeliek, and burning the latter two down first, then finishing off Korth’azz and Rivendare…

    It is SO much fun to work out alternate strategies to get the job done! :) And such a good feeling when you succeed. :) That fight was the most challenging part about the 8-man Naxx. :)

  4. thebitterfig says:

    so i was playing my hunter there the other day, doing a reg run after heroic (which involved a dual-spec role change… funny how often that happens these days), and in the middle of fighting paltress’ nightmare, the damn corpse of the gnome mage woke up and started fireballing me. i die out of nowhere, the group carries on. i cuss about the gnome on my way back, die a few more times, and when the confessor goes down. At this point folks notice what i was saying about the gnome (all melee dps besides me, and healer watching the life bars), and burn him down to 1 hp. then he walks and goes to get his horse. mounts, and we burn him down a few more times. someone loots the chest from the second boss, then we just flee the instance to stop the bug.

  5. Siggy says:

    Gratz on getting them down bear! I ran the new instance on Heroic last night with 4 guys from another guild and myself as the lone pugger. There tank had a great strategy.

    We dismounted the first two heroes and then whomever had the attention of the last mounted boss kited him to the door. As soon as he was dismounted we all left the instance. No deaths and when we came back in they were all waiting for us to be killeded. As a holy pally the transition was giving me fits as well. I’ll be useing this little tactic from now on.

    Long time lurker, first time poster. Love the blog.

  6. KBear says:

    @ Karel: I’m having the same !@#$%^&* problem. Damn trinket won’t drop for me for money or love. Way back beginning of Wrath a warrior tank of mine couldn’t get the trinket he wanted to drop in reg HoL, I’ve decided to adopt a butchered version of his name…

  7. kakalaki says:

    I’ve done this instance more times than I would like. At times it is difficult to pick up the mobs when going into melee mode, however, I try to get the grp to kill them close to each other. That requires whoever has aggro of the current target to “tank” them in one spot. If they are close enough, I can swap melee weapons, swipe/chalroar/maul fairly quickly to gather them up. Another strat if they are too far apart is to run out of the instance and when you come back in, they will be reset.

    As far as the mobs go, I’ve never had many problems of not killing them once I got all three. The order in which we kill is this: Troll Hunter, Tauren Shaman, Orc Warrior, Undead Rogue, and BElf Mage. The Hunter can cause all sorts of issues if not burned down quick. Yes, the multishot is killer to casters, so burning him down first is quick and easy. The Shaman is next to get the healer/hex/chain lightning out of the way. The rogues poison can be troublesome, but most healers won’t be too burdened by it. The knockback can be a pain, but not enough to cause issue.
    .-= kakalaki´s last blog ..The End of 00Alts?! =-.

  8. Shayzani says:

    Its situations like that that make me so very grateful for Death Grip.
    .-= Shayzani´s last blog ..New Rules – 8/10/2009 =-.

  9. Rhabella says:

    BBB,

    As a prot paladin, I have the utmost respect for you tanking this encounter. It’s a hell of a nightmare for me to pick up, and that’s with standing on one body so that when we drop I can aggro with consecration, picking up the second with a taunt, and Avenger’s shield on the third.

    I can imagine the nightmare it must be for bears and warriors!
    .-= Rhabella´s last blog ..Misdirection; The New Races Leaked?!? =-.

  10. wintersdark says:

    I’ve found the instance to be pretty much disappointingly easy, with the caveat that we just wipe in the mounted -> on foot transition. They appear to carry over aggro from the jousting, and are often spread all over the place too (though the spread around thing really is our own fault). They hit pretty hard, and tend to gank your healer before you can pick em all up.

    After the wipe, though? In every group I’ve been in, I just bear up and pull em with a manglespam berserk, killing the rogue first IF we don’t have abolish poison or a similar effect. This has worked fine for me every time, even in random pick up groups.

    The healer needs to be prepared to heal hard right at the start, and your dps needs to focus down targets in priority order.

    That said, I’ve always been tanking it, and while my group is often a random pug, I grossly overgear it.

  11. HokieJayBee says:

    at the risk of opening myself to exploitation claims,……….

    all we do in that instance is run out after they’re all dismounted. no deaths.

    run back in, all with the proper weapons equipped and the three mobs are neatly ready across the room to be tanked like a boss.

  12. Lupius says:

    I am thoroughly surprised that none of the commenters so far know about the standard way of dealing with the transition. That is, ride to the exit when the jousting is almost over and zone out when you dismount. When you zone in again, the champions would be reset in the same position as if your group had wiped. This gives you all the time in the world to buff up and swap on your real weapons.

    As for your specific encounter, my approach would have been to burn down the rogue first, as he puts the most strain on your healer. Just tank the rogue within melee range of the hunter and let your dps go to town. If the mage happens to sheep your healer a lot, just ask the rogue to keep interrupts on him. Spamming Faerie Fire on the mage should give you enough threat to keep aggro. (This “ranged tanking” with Faerie Fire is my favourite part about playing a bear.)

  13. Valterian says:

    Heh, the very first time I went in there, the tanking trinket dropped for me. I seriously think I could have it not equipped and it would proc.

    Anyway, last night we ran it with me(dk tank), my gm’s boyfriend(ret pally), 2 locks(both demo) and a pally healer. We got the shaman, rogue and hunter. Everything went smoothly, killed them all in the same general area so it was pretty easy for me to pick them all up. But we somehow wiped our first attempt. Found out it was because one of the locks wasn’t attacking the shaman(attacking the hunter instead) and explained to her that he needed to die first or else he would heal them. We wiped again and finally the ret pally said maybe we should kill the rogue first so I wouldn’t have to worry about her poison. So me and the ret pally would try and keep the shaman’s heals interrupted while we burned down the rogue and it worked amazingly well. I’ve done it with two tanks before but this was so much easier.

  14. Ashivor says:

    While I have not tanked the new 5 man, as I am usually moonkin these days, would it not be possible to just make sure you are close together near the end of the joust and use Challenging Roar(maybe enrage –> Challenging Roar), followed by a quick maul and swipe?

    I am no expert on druid tanking, but I have tanked Naxx 10, 25, as well as most of the heroics…So let me know if I am missing something important.

  15. Holly says:

    Oh dear, this combination alliance side sucks, I’ve tanked it before too, it’s usually really ugly, my general rule of thumb is burn the rogue as fast as you can, even with a depoisoner (but moreso without) FoK spam, the poisons, and the poo on the ground is just too much damage from one person and he’s fairly squisher (we found he dropped faster than the mage) so…as a bear tank I always mark him first and tell people to burn their cooldowns, I do a kitty pounce, hit swipe to hit all 3, hit mangle, then maim in kitty, swap back to bear, challenging roar (just in case) then bash the rogue, ask others if they can to stun the rogue, and try to limit -his- dps as much as possible. If there’s a deathknight I also try to get them to grab the hunter when he disengages, but generally he stays (within one or two steps positioning) within swipe range, I find as a bear tank with this encounter, 3-4 step left and right strafing will mean all 3 will get hit by enough swipes to keep them off the healler (it’s kind of like the old bear swipe shuffle, only more awesome and less tab targetting, it just doesn’t help aoe, but we’re burning the rogue so if they’re aoe’ing they’re dumb anyway =^-^=) But that’s just how we did it, it’s a nice way to get around needing 2 heallers and 2 dps, if a bit …frantic? for tanking, I also found if you can sneak in a demoralizing roar (ohmigods people still have that button?) it really lowers the hunter and rogues aoe damage (multishot and fok respectively)

  16. Holly says:

    I’m really sorry if I derail with this comment (feel free to hide or delete it if you wish.) But the more I read this thread the more that one thing you said made me extremely happy. Your line was Instead of “We need one tank, one healer, three DPS, good to go”, the group composition can change, and make full use of the varied talents of multi-specced folks. And not just Hybrids, either. The call went out asking if Wetfoot had Silencing Shot, we were looking into alternatives like Ice Trapping the Hunter, and Kaelynn was interrupting like a madwoman” I love this statemen for the fact it goes against a trend I’ve seen growing uncomfortably in WoW: class stacking.

    I’ve personally noticed a trend where people are being very very classist, and picky (especially in raids, but even dungeons.) Willing to call an entire raid due to not being able to find a class, or choosing a terrible player simply for a buff or ability over a competant one. Shamans are the ones usually picked for this with totems/lust, but I find more and more seeing people going “Need enhancement shaman” “need arcane mage” “need arms warrior” And this idea that a raid has to be built in an exact way bothers me, yes the exact way works, it’s been proven to work otherwise people wouldn’t do it, but that’s because the classes probably give a lot of synergies, and overall let a group slack/fumble more. What I haven’t seen a lot of recently is people improvising, or finding creative ways to deal with fights. Sometimes blizzard does put a big slap in your face (25 man instructor for example, you -need- a mind control of some type) Though I was reading about a group that did it with 10 engineers using mind control caps, though they had ridiculously high dps so they didn’t need to worry about that 10 minute cooldown.

    Maybe it comes though from the fact druids are rarely required in this ‘premade raids’ as I like to call them, since we’re more the jack of all trades class, or maybe it’s because my priest is always expected to have a holy spec for raid healing, but these assumptions you can’t raid because you can’t get a mage, a lock, an enhancement shaman, and a combat rogue, messes with my head. I’d love to see a post about your opinions/experience with this.

  17. Kasaoki says:

    My friends and I have experienced a similar sort of transition into adapting to what the instance throws on us based on our composition.

    Although, last night when we decided to run it a second time on normal mode, the mage bugged out and engaged us again while we were fighting the mobs before Paletress. Going with the same strategy that had worked with us before, I went bear and tanked her off to the side so that she was not being a nuisance to anybody else, and we killed her again.

    She began walking back to the end of the arena, just like they do when they are defeated, and then pulled a fast one on us and got on one of the wolf mounts.

    At which point she started casting fireballs. On the wolf.

    This instance is a lot of fun when you get the hang of it, but gosh, is it ever buggy.

  18. mike says:

    “We dismounted the first two heroes and then whomever had the attention of the last mounted boss kited him to the door. As soon as he was dismounted we all left the instance. No deaths and when we came back in they were all waiting for us to be killeded. As a holy pally the transition was giving me fits as well. I’ll be useing this little tactic from now on.”

    While I have used this strat too and agree it works 100% it is defintly not the intention of the encounter and thus needs to be adjusted. The transition is not smooth as mentioned in the article. Hopefully once it gets smooth it will very nice and hard but still do-able without many deaths

  19. Adonik says:

    This sounds quite similar to two different times I’ve run this instance. One of the times, we had two healers, one a full resto shaman and the other a priest throwing out damage, and a heal here and there when needed.

    The second time it was a bit different. I had two DKs to heal, and the one who was not tanking would not let go of aggro during Confessor Paletress. So what I suggested was the “tank” just stand next to her and interrupt her heals, while the dps DK tanked the memory, receiving heals from myself and a pally. It took longer but we got it done.

  20. Karel says:

    23x totc, no trinket, getting annoyed…

  21. Lytstep says:

    I know this is far fetched but you never really know ….
    Scene: Blizzard customer service area.
    Service Representative 1: Hey guys break time whew that was a rough shift.
    Service Rep 2: Yah
    Service Rep 3: Hey lets to a little boss riding for the break.
    Service Rep 1: That would be fun. Let’s do the new instance.
    Service Rep 3: I’ll take mage.
    Service Rep 2: I’ll take the rogue
    Service Rep 1: Ok I’ll do the hunter.
    They get up and head towards door with “AZEROTH” painted over it.
    Service Rep 2: Hope we get some interesting groups.
    Service Rep 3: That group yesterday that switched to two tanks was interesting.
    Service Rep 1: Yes unique, haven’t seen that before.
    Service Rep 2: A rare thinking group
    As the pass through the door you hear from one of them:
    “Remember that group of 4 Death Knights and one Disc priest” followed by
    Maniacal laughter.

  22. Iron says:

    Expect the encounter to be adjusted in future to prevent the ‘exploit’ of exiting at the end of the mounted phase and re-entering with all the bosses lined up for ya.

    “How to do it without exiting:”
    Step 1 – Tank (and I recommend everyone anyways) either use an addon like ItemRack or put your weapon (and shield if relevant class) on your action bars and hot key them. I personally use ItemRack that equips all my gear when I shift and shifting from NE form into bear as I dismount equips wpn auto. On my paladin, I can either click the ItemRack button to equip gear or I press the bind hot keys or click the action bar – it is instant equipping as you slide from horseback to ground.

    Step 2 – During the fight, on the last boss, during his last 25%, just use Thrust and have everyone in the group standing RIGHT THERE next to the tank. It is ideal if during the fight, you simply down the bosses relatively near each other as this lets you keep them down and be near enough to the tank in the final 10% to jet over to him so you can all dismount right next to the tank. Tank is marked with raid icon for ease of finding him. As soon as you all dismount, tank is equipping weapon(s) auto and hits AoE threat gen (swipe, whatever) while the rest of the group piles onto tank – everyone standing exactly on top of tank. Let the tank get 2 aoe’s in and then dps and healer step off to take up positions (if yo have the tank boss, mind the whirlwind). By then, the tank has gotten aggro and did not need to move AT ALL. This way the tank has all the time in the world to equip gear and AoE without having to chase all over the instance rounding up mini bosses. The bosses will all come to him or whoever has aggro (like the healer if the mini boss is coming from afar) and tank will be able to pick up aggro with least amount of fuss.

    Works every time.

    Hope that helped.
    .-= Iron´s last blog ..Trial of the Crusader =-.

  23. Weid says:

    What I do is I usually have everyone run out to reset the fight once we get all of them off their mounts. Makes for an easier less painfull pickup.

    When you finally get back in enrage is your friend before charging in, I usually shift until i get 10 rage, enrage to get to 30 and wait the 10 sec to run out to be at 40 and charge/faerie fire at same time on main target and instantly swipe after the global CD picks aggro right up. A little running around and they are all in melee.

    We usually dps pally> rogue> hunter > warrior > mage

    In that order, makes for the “easiest” fight. Hope some of that helps.

  24. gmazeroth says:

    Wow, I was on my druid healing and we had the exact combination of champions that you had, BBB. I was so frustrated because I couldn’t keep the tank alive. Not with all of my hots and nourish spam, and ignoring the rest of the group. Unfortunately, we were not as intelligent as you are and we eventually left to do a quick Heroic Violet Hold. I’ll definitely remember this for the next time we go to the “that new instance.” Two tanks could have gotten us through that phase.
    .-= gmazeroth´s last blog ..Lessons in Lore – Thorim and Razorscale =-.

  25. Zeplar says:

    I got the Tauren Shaman, Undead Rogue, and Blood Elf Mage. Couldn’t do that one without 2 tanks. Shaman kept healing, and rogue and mage together… too much damage, particularly with our healer being polymorphed.

    Sometimes the encounter is just ridiculously easy, though. Warrior, Rogue, Mage….

  26. Rob says:

    I like the new instance ToC, but its pretty tough on heroic. Most of the PUG people and my guild aren’t up to it i guess. I think its one of ‘wipe ten times’ instances, where you know as a guild you can do it, but is it worth the two hours and repair cost? (for me – yes, since we’re mostly in naxx10 gear).

    I had one group, the healer was in full naxx10/25 gear, couldn’t keep the tank up, who insisted in tanking in the green stuff. His excuse? This druid isn’t doing big enough heals! Was a guildie too. I tried to explain the nature of druid healing. No luck.

    Then there was the group with two tanks (me and another guy) and a mage in ulduar gear, doing 4000 dps. We wiped 3x and the mage quit – we weren’t geared enough (even though we already did it on heroic).

    I think this instance is a real kick in the teeth for those so used to easymode tank n spank, and i’m glad.

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